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p ^ 




h a/:/ 



^ III 




*~ S> y THE 














Tamen utile quid sit 
Prospiciunt aliquando. 

Juv. Sat. 6, lin. 319. 

Docti rationem artis intelligunt, indocti, voluptatem, 

Quint, lib. ix. 4. 




31, POULTRY;' 

At the Union Printing- Office, St. John's Square, by W. Wilton* 





BACON, Sir Francis. 







St. Bruno. 

Pompadour, Mad. de. 

Caravaggio, M. A. M. da. 



Romano, Julio. 


Rosa, Salvator. 



Guido Reni. 




Jonson, Ben. 


Kouli Kahn. 









The Martyrdom of St. 


- Le Brun. 

The Entry of Alexander the Grea 

t into Babylon Ditto. 

The Death of Demosthenes 

- Boissellier. 

The Sleep of Jesus 

- Caracci, Ann. 

Hercules strangling the 


- Caracci,August. 

Girls Drinking 

- Claudet. 


The Flight into Egypt - CigolL 

Brutus and his Sons - - - - David. 

The Martyrdom of St. Peter - - - Guido. 

The Death of Hercules - Ditto. 

St. Roch in Prison - Ditto. 

Marcus Sextus -_-__ Guerin. 

The Testament of Eudamidas - - Ditto. 

Scene after a Shipwreck - Hue. 

Garrick in the Character of Richard the Third Hogarth. 

St. John preaching in the Wilderness - Carlo Maratti. 

The Death of Phocion - Odevaere. 

St. Charles Borromeo curing the Sick of the Plague Van Oost. 

Rebecca at the Well - Poussin. 

Astyages ordering the Death of Cyrus - Perrin. 

Alcibiades surprised by Socrates - - Ditto. 

The Virgin and Infant Jesus - Raphael. 

Tobit and his Family before the Angel Gabriel Rembrandt. 

The Education of Achilles - Regnault. 

St. Roch curing the Plague - Rubens. 

Venus, Vulcan, and the Loves - - J. Romano. 

Count Roger kneeling before St. Bruno - Le Sueur. 
St. Bruno distributing his Wealth among thePoor Ditto. 

St. Bruno on his Knees before the Crucifix Ditto. 

A River God and a Naiad - Ditto. 

Birth of Cupid - 

The Death of Olympias 

Christ crowned with Thorns 

The Chastity of Joseph 

The Virgin, St. Anne, and the Infant Jesus 





Da Vinci Leonardo. 


The Laocoon 
A Huntsman 
Joan of Arc 
Bath of Apollo 

- Agesander, &c. 

- Coustou. 

- Gois. 

- Girardon, &c. 

- Puget. 



Of all the divinities of the mythology of the Greeks, 
Love is the personage whose birth has the most exercised 
the imagination of that people, so smitten with allegory. 
According to some writers, Love existed from the begin- 
ning of all things, with the earth and chaos. He united 
himself with chaos, and from that union, not only men 
and animals, but even the immortal gods received their 
birth. Others are of opinion, that eternal night, pre- 
ceding the birth of every sort of being, lay an egg, which 
she covered with her ample wings, and gave birth to 
Love, who spreading on a sudden his golden pinions, 
took his flight around the rising world. Other traditions 
denominate as the parents of Love, Chaos and the Earth, 
Mars and Venus, Zephyrus and Eris, Ccelus and Venus, 
Venus and Vulcan, Jupiter and Venus ; in short, the 
God of Wealth, and the Goddess of Poverty. Of all 
these opinions, alike created by an allegorical fancy, that 
which makes Venus the mother of Love, has been the 
most generally adopted. As being the son of the God- 
dess of Beauty, he has had temples and altars devoted 
to him in several countries of Greece. Sometimes he 
divided with Venus the homage of mortals, at other 
times he was considered the object of a particular 

Among the received traditions on the birth of Love, 
Le Sueur has chosen that which offered a pleasing com- 


position, which he has delineated with as much dignity 
as simplicity. Extended upon a bed of an elegant form, 
Venus casts an affectionate look upon the young god, to 
whom she has just given birth, who is presented to her 
by one of the Graces. The two other companions of 
the goddess contemplate Love and admire his beauty. 
A female with wings, undoubtedly one of the Hours, 
scatters flowers upon the infant. The delightful scene 
passes in the midst of the heavens, and under a serene 

This picture was painted, as well as others that embel- 
lish this publication, for the ceiling of a cabinet of the 
Hotel Lambert, at Paris. The figures are in proportion 
about three feet. 


Thine is a Bacon — hapless in his choice • 

fJnfit to stand the civil storm of state, 

And through the smooth barbarity of courts. 

With firm but pliant virtue, forward still 

To urge his course — him for the studious shade 

Kind nature formed, deep, comprehensive, clear, 

Exact and elegant ; in one rich soul, 

Plato, the Stagyrite, and Tully joined. 

The great deliverer He ! who from the gloom 

Of ploisteped monks and jargon-teaching schools^ 

Led forth the true philosophy, there long 

Held in the magic chain of words and forms. 

And definitions void ; — he led her forth, 

Daughter of Heaven ! that slow-ascending still. 

Investigating sure the chain of things 

With radiant finger points to Heaven again. 

These elegant lines of Thomson afford a short but 
comprehensive idea of the illustrious man whose life and 
character now engage our attention, 

England, at a distance of three centuries, produced 
two celebrated genius' of this name. Bogey Bacon, 11 
poor friar of the thirteenth century, made the most asto^ 
nishing discoveries in physics, to the wonder and dismay 
of a barbarous age, which accused him of of sorcery, and 
compelled him to justify himself from a supposed famili- 
arity with the devil; and Francis Bacon, who developed 
the whole system of human knowledge, and opened those 
paths in which Newton, Boyle, and Locke afterwards SQ 


eminently distinguished themselves. He his justly con- 
sidered, from the extent and variety of his talents, as one 
of the most extraordinary men that any nation ever pro- 
duced. He broke through the scholastic obscurity of 
the age, and shewed mankind the necessity of thinking 
for themselves, in order to become truly learned. He 
began with taking a view of the various objects of 
human knowledge ; he divided these objects into classes; 
he examined what was already known in regard to each 
of them, and he drew up an immense catalogue of what 
yet remained to be discovered. He even went further ; 
he shewed the necessity of experimental physics, and of 
reasoning experimentally on moral subjects. If he did 
not greatly enlarge the bounds of any particular science 
himself he was no less usefully employed in breaking the 
fetters of false philosophy, and conducting the lovers of 
truth to the proper method of cultivating the whole circle 
of the sciences. Happy for himself and for the nation 
whom he thus adorned by his genius and his writings, if 
he had been satisfied with these noble pursuits ; and if a 
character, in other respects so perfect, had not been 
sullied by ambition and avarice ! 

This great man was born in York Place, in the Strand, 
on the 22d of January, 1560. He was the son of Sir 
Nicholas Bacon, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, under 
Elizabeth, by Anne, one of the daughters of Sir Anthony 
Cooke, a lady eminent for her skill in the Greek and 
Latin languages. Under such illustrious guides, his na- 
tural talent could not fail of being improved by all the 
advantages which parental fondness and a learned edu- 
cation could bestow. So early was he remarkable for 
ardour of study, quickness of apprehension, and acute- 
ness of wit, that the Queen was accustomed to call him 
her young Lord Keeper ', and when she once asked him 


how old he was, he answered in a style of delicate flat- 
tery, far beyond his years, "that he was two years younger 
than her majesty's happy administration." He was en- 
tered of Trinity College, Cambridge, under the learned 
Whitgift, afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury. When 
only sixteen, he conceived a dislike for the Aristotelian 
doctrines, not from any disrespect to their venerable au- 
thor, but from the abuse of his philosophy, which had 
pervaded all the schools of Europe. This abuse had ren- 
dered it fruitful only in disputations and contentions, but 
barren in the production of works calculated to reform and 
benefit mankind. This induced him afterwards to form 
a more perfect and satisfactory system. When he had 
successfully passed through the whole circle of the sci- 
ences and the liberal arts, he was sent to France, with 
Sir Amias Pawlet, in order to qualify him for the man- 
agement of public affairs, and he was himself entrusted 
with a commission, which he discharged to the satisfac- 
tion of the Queen and her ministers. But the unexpected 
death of his father, which happened before the proper 
measure could be taken to secure to him the provision 
intended for him, compelled him to adopt the law, as a 
profession, — contrary to his natural inclination, which 
rather led him to apply himself to state affairs. He 
entered himself of Gray's Inn, in which society he con- 
tinued to reside, even after his elevation to the highest 
dignities. He there erected a building, which was long 
distinguished by the name of Lord Bacon's lodgings ; 
and the Society, in veneration of the memory of its 
illustrious member, has recently bestowed, on a newrange 
of chambers, the appellation of Verulam Buildings. 

As a lawyer, his reputation has not kept pace with his 
fame as a philosopher ; his genius, indeed, as in every 
thing else, enabled him to explore and comprehend the 


principles of law, considered as a science ; but in the 
technical and practical part of it, he was surpassed by 
the more laborious efforts and humbler talents of Sir 
Edward Coke. He published several tracts upon the sub- 
ject, among which his Reading on the Statute of Uses is 
esteemed. His general merit soon procured him notice 
and distinction, and at the early age of twenty-eight, he 
was appointed one of the Queer? $ council extraordinary ; 
but he obtained no higher preferment during the reign 
of Elizabeth. That princess, who was proverbially sparing 
of honours and favours to her ministers and courtiers, 
probably thought him sufficiently provided for by this 
situation, and the reversion of the place of Register of 
the Star Chamber, estimated at 1600 J. a-year. The Ear! 
of Essex, who could distinguish merit, and who passion- 
ately loved it, had entered into an intimate friendship 
with Bacon, and had zealously attempted, though with- 
out success, to procure him the office of Solicitor-General, 
and in order to comfort him under the disappointment, 
had conferred on him a present of land to the value of 
1800/. But when his munificent patron was summoned 
before the privy Council, Bacon appeared against him, 
and argued with Coke, Attorney-General, and Fleming, 
Solicitor-General, on the impropriety of his conduct. 
This behaviour, which it must be confessed does him 
very little honour, made him at the time extremely un- 
popular. In this instance, perhaps, he acted in obedience 
to the Queen's commands, and she was so well pleased 
with his behaviour, that she imposed on him a new task 
of drawing up a narrative of the day's proceedings, in 
order to satisfy the public of the justice and lenity of her 
conduct. Bacon, who wanted firmness of character 
rather than humanity, gave the whole transaction the 
most favourable turn for Essex: and, in particular, 
pointed out, in elaborate expressions, the dutiful sub- 


mission which that nobleman discovered in the defence 
he had made for his conduct. When he read that pas- 
sage to her, the Queen smiled, and observed to him, 'that 
old love, she saw, could not easily be forgotten.' He 
replied, 'that he hoped she meant that of herself.' 

When the aggravated imprudence of this heroic and 
unfortunate Earl precipitated him into those acts of trea- 
son and disloyalty which brought him to the scaffold, the 
conduct of Bacon was infinitely less excuseable. He 
was not strictly a crown lawyer, and consequently not 
obliged to assist at the trial ; yet he did not scruple, in 
order to obtain the Queen's favour, to be active in be- 
reaving of life his friend and patron, whose generosity 
he had so often experienced. He enlarged upon the trea- 
son of the unhappy Essex, and compared his conduct, in 
pretending to fear the attacks of his adversaries, to that 
of Pisistratus, the Athenian, who cut and wounded his 
own body, and making the people believe that his ene* 
mies had committed the violence, obtained a guard for 
his person, by whose assistance he afterwards subdued 
the liberties of his country. It is painful to recite these 
unworthy acts of a man so highly celebrated, but whose 
powerful and comprehensive genius could not shield him 
from the common weakness of human nature. 

The death of Elizabeth, and the accession of James, 
opened a more favourable scene for the ambition of Bacon. 
The new King, as prodigal of the royal favour as the late 
Queen had been sparing of it, bestowed on him the order 
of Knighthood, and the rank of King's Council. A few 
years after, though not without considerable opposition 
from his cousin, the Earl of Salisbury, and Sir Edward 
Coke, he was appointed Solicitor-General. His other 
promotions may be told in a few words, as they were 


neither unusually rapid nor attended with any uncom- 
mon circumstances. In 1613, he succeeded Sir Henry 
Hobart, as Attorney-General ; in 1616, he was sworn 
of the Privy Council. In the following year, by the 
interest of Villiers, then Earl of Buckingham, he was 
constituted Lord Keeper of the Great Seal ; and, in 1618, 
Lord High Chancellor. At the same time he was created 
Baron of Verulam, and finally raised to the dignity of 
Viscount St. Alban. 

But it was the fate of Bacon, after so many years of 
anxious expectation, to enjoy, for a very short time, the 
high station he had now attained. He was soon sur- 
prised with a melancholy reverse of fortune. His want 
of economy, and his indulgence to servants, had in- 
volved him in necessities ; and in order to supply his 
present wants, he had been tempted to take bribes under 
the title of presents, and that in a very open manner, 
from the suitors in the Court of Chancery. The Com- 
mons at this time were busied in the examinations of 
grievances, and the reforming of abuses. They were ap- 
prized of the loud complaints uttered against the Chan- 
cellor, and sent up an impeachment to the Peers. 
Bacon, either from timidity, or consciousness of guilt, 
deprecated the vengeance of his judges, and endea- 
voured, by a general avowal, to escape the confusion 
and disgrace of a stricter scrutiny. The Lords insisted 
on a particular confession of all his corruptions ; he ac- 
knowledged twenty-eight articles, and was sentenced to 
pay a fine of 40,000Z. ; to be imprisoned in the Tower 
during the King's pleasure ; to be for ever incapable of 
any office, place, or employment, and never again to sit 
in Parliament, or come within the verge of the Court. 
Without attempting to justify the slightest deviation in 
an office, where purity of principle and integrity of con- 


duct are more particularly expected to preside, this 
dreadful sentence may be considered as equally unjust 
and cruel. It appears that it had been usual for other 
Chancellors to take presents ; and it is asserted that 
Bacon, who followed the same dangerous practice, had 
still, in the Seat of Justice, preserved the integrity of 
a Judge, and had given just decrees against those very 
persons from whom he had received the wages of ini- 
quity. Complaints grew the louder on that account, 
and his punishment was sought as much, perhaps, from 
the rage of unsuccessful suitors, as from any laudable 
principle of reform. The custom which had previously 
subsisted of receiving presents, though it would have 
been highly to Bacon's honour, had he been the first to 
wave it, may yet be adduced as no inconsiderable alle- 
viation of his guilt. It was highly cruel to punish him 
so rigourously for offences from which no former Chan- 
cellor had been exempt, and the most that could be 
urged against him was, that this iniquitous practice was, 
in him,more frequent and undisguised. That this conduct 
did not proceed altogether from avarice, may be credited, 
as he is not supposed to have died rich. Profusion of ex- 
pence, indulgence to his officers and servants, who ex- 
torted money for private seals and injunctions, and a 
total neglect of order and regularity in the management 
of his affairs, were his principal failings, and these led 
him to the too frequent commission of misdemeanors, for 
which he was punished with indiscriminating severity. 
Such, no doubt, were the sentiments of James I. on the 
fate of this illustrious culprit ; as, in consideration of his 
extraordinary merit, he remitted the fine, as well as the 
other parts of the sentence, conferred on him a large 
pension of 1800£. a-year, and employed every expedient 
to alleviate the weight of his age and misfortunes. He 
was also summoned to the Parliament which was held in 
the first year of King Charles I. 

BACON, £england\ 

He survived his sentence five years, and being released 
in a little time from the Tower, where he was at first 
imprisoned, his genius, yet unbroken, supported itself 
amidst involved circumstances, and under a continual 
depression of spirits^ and shone out in literary and sci- 
entific productions, which have made his guilt and weak- 
nesses be forgotten or overlooked by posterity, This 
nation, once so exasperated against him, no longer per- 
mits these failings to be urged against the character of 
a man, by whose genius and writings it is so much ex- 
alted in the eye of Europe 5 whose faults as a magistrate* 
are for ever lost in the brilliant and unperishing fame of 
the philosopher* He himself lived long enough to regret 
that he neglected the true ambition of genius, and 
by plunging into business and affairs which require 
much less capacity, but greater firmness of mind, had 
exposed himself to the loss of character, to reproach^ 
and calamity. 

tie happily escaped the plague which infested the 
summer of the year 1625, and with some difficulty, be* 
ing of a tender constitution, passed the severe winter 
Which followed ; but, going in the spring to make some 
experiments in natural philosophy, he was taken so ill 
with a defhiction on his breast, attended with a fever* 
that he was compelled to remain at the Earl of Arundel's 
house, at Highgate, near London, about a Week, and 
there he expired on Easter-Day, the 9th of April, 1626, 
in the sixty-sixth year of his age. He was interred in 
St. Michael's Church, St. Alban's, where a monument of 
white marble was erected for him by the care and grati- 
tude of Sir Thomas Meutys, Knight, his executor. He 
is represented as sitting in a chair in an attitude of pro- 
found contemplation. He had married Alice, one of the 
daughters of Benedict Barnham, Esq. and Alderman of 
London 5 but by her he had no issue. 

England.] BACON. 

Such were the principal features of the public and pri- 
vate life of Bacon. On his merit, as a philosopher, wc 
presume not to enlarge ; the bare enumeration of his nu- 
merous and valuable works would occupy a greater space 
than we can at present spare. His noble treatise on the 
Advancement of Learning and the Novum Organum, form 
the chief basis of his reputation. Though inferior in 
some respects to Galilaeo, and, perhaps, even to Kepler, 
he surpassed them both in the extent of his researches, 
and the boldness of his discoveries. His Latinity is 
remarkable, rather for the constant propriety, than the 
elegance of its expression* His English style is often rigid 
and pedantic^ and he seems to be the original of those 
pointed similies and long-spun allegories which distinguish 
the authors of that age. A life of this illustrious man has 
long been considered a desideratum in English literature; 
that written by Mallet, is, in every respect, unworthy of 
him. The undertaking would, indeed, be of no ordinary 
nature -, he that would enter upon it must combine, with 
the ornaments of style, profound science, discrimination, 
and candour, in reviewing his philosophical works, and 
the moat impartial justice in comparing him with the 
philosophers of his and other ages. It must be recorded, 
to our disgrace, that the fame of Bacon has been more 
highly appreciated and more extensively diffused by the 
learning of Gassendi, the admiration of Voltaire, and 
the critical sagacity of D'Alembert, than by any efforts 
of our own, much as we are accustomed to applaud our 
great countryman, and to venerate his name. But his 
reputation, even in his life-time, had spread far beyond 
the limits of this island, and early presaged the immor- 
tality it has obtained. Whatever in the revolution of 
ages, may be the fate of this empire, even to that distant, 
but probable period, when the present continent 
of Europe shall exchange its civilization for the 

BACON. [endland. 

barbarity of regions now undiscovered or unexplored, in 
whatever corner of the globe literature and the sciences 
may hereafter seek an asylum, so long will they exalt 
the fame, and be guided by the genius, of BACON. 

[-■ovlny iSoj 


Bias, one of the seven sages of Greece, and in the 
opinion of some writers, the Prince of Learned Mcn> 
was a native of Priene, a city of Caria, and flourished 
about the year 608 before Jesus Christ. Some pirates, 
in one of their cruizes in the neighbourhood of Messina, 
carried away several females of the city, and exposed 
them for sale at Priene. These were purchased by Bias, 
who loaded them with presents, and sent them back to 
their parents. A little time after, some fishermen of Mes- 
sina found in the body of a large fish, a golden vase, upon 
which, these words were engraved, To the most wise. They 
deliberated a while to whom they should send it ; when 
the females who had been treated by Bias with so much 
generosity, presented themselves, with their parents, and 
engaged the public voice in his favour ; but he refused 
the offer, by saying, that this title solely belonged to 
Apollo. His refusal proved him the more worthy of the 

It is likewise related, at the seigeof Priene, by Haliattes, 
king of Lydia, that Bias, who filled the office of chief 
magistrate, made a most vigorous resistance. Neverthe- 
less, provisions became scarce ; and at this moment, to 
deceive the besiegers, he fattened two mules, and sent 
them into the enemy's camp. Deceived by this artifice, 
the king of Lydia raised the siege, and made peace with 
the Prieneans. Bias could not, however, prevent the city 
from being, in the end, taken by storm, and delivered up 
to pillage. During the disorder that prevailed, and while 


Sach Was endeavousing to carry away as much of his pro- 
perty as possible, they were surprised to see Bias leave 
the city without striving to preserve his effects. He 
said, "Omnia mea mecum porto" It was this philosopher 
who, being at sea in a storm with some impious persons, 
and hearing them invoke the assistance of the gods, said, 
" Be quiet, lest they perceive you are in peril" He was a 
great admirer of poetry, and composed some verses con- 
taining the precepts of his morality, and rules for the 
conduct of life. It was one of his maxims, that those 
who knew what friendship was, would much rather hear 
a brilliant than a solid remark — a sally, than an axiom ; and 
was accustomed to say, "Love your friends, as if they might 
one day become your enemies" He cultivated oratory with 
success, and made the same use of his talents as of his 
fortune ; that is to say, by directing it to the assistance 
of the necessitous. He died at an advanced age, in the 
midst of his noble occupations. Pleading one day the 
cause of one of his friends, and having apparently ex- 
hausted the little strength that remained, he reclined his 
head upon the bosom of one of his grand-children, who 
accompanied him, and expired. His countrymen, in testi- 
mony of his worth, raised a temple to his memory. 

■• Ridouan. 


Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini, who was born at 
Naples, in 1598, acquired from his Father, who was a 
Florentine artist, the first elements of his art, and went 
with him to Rome, with a view to perfect himself. Nature 
had made him a sculptor, for, at ten years of age, he pro- 
duced a head in marble, that attracted some notice ; at 
seventeen, he had already ornamented Rome by several 
specimens, among which may be distinguished the group 
of Apollo and Daphne. He worked on marble with 
astonishing quickness. 

Gregory XV. created him a Knight of the Order of 
Christ, and Urban the VIII. confided to him the execu- 
tion of those works of every description which have im- 
mortalized him. Architecture, painting, sculpture, every 
art experienced the fertility of his genius. He executed 
in bronze the statue of St. Peter, and the four great 
niches under the cupola, which he adorned with colossal 
statues. He embellished the squares of Rome with seve- 
ral fountains, superb palaces, and public buildings, with- 
out, however, neglecting the superintendance of the 
improvements to the great cathedral of St. Peter, which 
had been committed to his care. 

This great artist refused an appointment of 60,000 
livres a-year, which were offered him by Cardinal Maza- 
rin, if he would settle in France. He erected by order 
of Innocent X. the superb fountain in the Piazza Navora; 
and, by command of Alexander VII. the celebrated 

BERNINI. [Italy, 

colonnade of St. Peter, the pulpit placed at the end of the 
church, the grand staircase of the Vatican, and an infinite 
number of mausolcea figures, and busts, as well for 
Rome, as for foreign courts. Every one knows the press- 
ing solicitations made to him by the great Colbert, on the 
part of Louis XIV. to induce him to come to Paris for 
the purpose of superintending the works then carrying on 
at the Louvre, and the extraordinary honours that were 
paid him, when, after having with some difficulty ob- 
tained the pope's consent, he proceeded to Paris. He 
was received in his progress, and on his arrival, as a sove- 
reign would have been. He remained eight months at 
the court of France ; but, after having received some 
considerable presents, and a pension for himself and his 
son, his design not being adopted, he left to Perrault the 
glory of contributing to the embellishment of the palace. 

Bernini, it is said, on observing the works of this skil- 
ful architect, had the modesty to say, "When there are 
men of such talents at home, it is unnecessary to seek 
elsewhere," This anecdote has been related by the in- 
genius author of the Historical Essays on Paris, who 
asserts that Bernini, far from admiring the designs of 
Perrault, evinced the utmost alacrity to carry his own, in 
preference, into effect: adding, that he had been pro- 
mised an annuity of 3000 livres, if he would remain at 
Paris, which he refused, and that on the eve of his de- 
parture this sum was brought to him with an offer of a 
pension of 12,000, which he very coolly received. Be that 
as it may, the king was desirous of having his bust taken 
by the hand of this celebrated artist, making him a present 
of his portrait encircled with diamonds. Bernini, at this 
moment, displayed at Versailles all the address of a cour- 
tier. While drawing the portrait of Louis XIV. he 
placed a lock of hair on the monarch's head, saying, 

italy.] BERNINI. 

"The forehead of your majesty may be seen by the whole 
world." He paid likewise a very happy compliment to 
the queen,who commending the portrait he had just exe- 
cuted of the prince, he added, "Your majesty is pleased 
with the portrait, because you admire the original." 

On his return to Rome he hastened to execute an 
equestrian statue of Curtius in marble, which is now 
placed at Versailles, and dedicated it to Louis XIV. as a 
mark of his gratitude. Clement IX. proved no less a 
zealous protector of Bernini than his predecessors, and 
employed him to decorate the bridge of St. Angelo. 

His last work was a demi-colossal figure of Christ, 
which he bequeathed to the Queen Christina of Sweden. 
He died in 1680, leaving behind him, as it is said, pro- 
perty to the amount of two millions of livres, (80,000/.) 

The manners of Bernini were austere, and his character 
rough and impetuous ; but, among the chief-d'eeuvres of 
Rome, were reckoned the works of this great master. 
The principal are, the equestrian statue of Constantine, 
the choir of St. Peter, the group of Apollo and Daphne in 
the Villa Pinciana, and the church of St. Andrew at Rome, 
which was constructed after his designs. Bernini was 
only fourteen years of age, when he was by accident in the 
church of St. Peter at the moment when Annibal Caracci, 
with other painters, were noticing a situation where 
the principal altar ought to be placed. " Trust me," 
said Caracci, " the day will come when a superior genius 
shall rear under the cupola, and in the body of the church, 
two monuments proportionate to the grandeur of this tem- 
ple." Upon which young Bernini exclaimed, "Heaven 
grant it were myself :" and his wish was accomplished. 
His bust of Louis, in which the character of that great 

BERNINL [italy. 

prince is no less ably pourtrayed than are the features of his 
face, will he for ever admired. The equestrian statue of 
MarcusCiirtius may he compared with the finest works of 
antiquity. He was employed on it fifteen years. Al- 
though he left behind him, as we have stated, considerable 
property, the Queen Christina, upon learning the amount, 
exclaimed, "Had he attached himself to my service, J 
should have felt shame at his leaving so little." 


Zandon;Tu.'blL-h'j. ly I'ei-nor.H'o.-i.l ^Sharpe,Pcruloyi8oj 


JA regnait Despreaux, Ieur maitre en Tart d'ecrire s 
Lui qu' arma la Raison des traits de la satyre 
Qui, dormant le precepte et Texemple a la fois ? 
Etablit d'Apallon les rigoureuses lois. 

The rank which Yoltaire assigned to Boileau in the, 
temple du Gout, among the great writers of the age of 
Louis XIV. has been ratified by posterity : it was fixed, 
indeed during his life-time, and it is a remarkable instance 
of good fortune that this man, who had attacked so many 
authors, should have enjoyed among his cotemporaries a. 
reputation which succeeding generations have not been 
able to decrease. 

Nicholas Boileau-Despreaux was born at Crosne, near 
Paris, in 1636* He was the eleventh son of Giles Boileau, 
register of the high court of Parliament. His infancy 
was by no means happy. His mother dying when young, 
and his father being wholly absorbed in business, he wag 
abandoned to the care of an old servant, who treated! Wm 
with much unkindness and severity. Her conduct, in? 
deed, made such an impression on his, mind, that he hag 
been known to observe, if he h,ad the offer of cpming a 
second time into existence, upon the painful conditions pf 
his childhood, he would much rather not be born. ite? 
gardless, however, of the neglect he experieneeot, J19 
commenced his studies with success $ but exhibited no, 
qualities that could indicate his future celebrity. ^Colinf* 
Jiis father used to say, <? is a good lad, who Is not oyer 3 

B01LEAU DESPREAUX. [france. 

burthened with wit, and will speak no ill of any one." 
— This opinion, formed upon the reserved disposi- 
tion of young Nicholas, was soon discovered to he ill- 
founded. He was only fourteen years of age when his 
talent for poetry developed itself. His father intended 
him for the har ; hut, becoming soon disgusted with the 
study of the law, he directed his thoughts to the church, 
to which he shortly after conceived a dislike. Boileau, 
equally disgusted with the one and the other profession, 
resolved to follow the bent of his own genius, and devoted 
himself to poetry. His first Satires appeared in 1666. 
They were sought after, with much avidity, by men of 
taste ; and as furiously condemned, by the authors whom 
the poet had criticised. To them succeeded his Epistles: 
and his Art Poetique, — that complete code of the laws of 
Poetry, and one of the finest compositions of the French 
language, — and, in 1674, he published his celebrated 
poem, Le Lutri??, This ingenius production, so replete 
with pleasantry and good writing,and in which the virtues 
and the vices of men are personified with considerable 
animation, fully established his reputation, and made him 
known at Court. Invited thither by Louis XIV. he had 
the honour to recite several cantos of his poem to that 
enlightened prince,who treated him with great liberality. 
He was granted the exclusive privilege of publishing his 
own works ; and, with other marks of royal favour, was 
made choice of by that monarch to write his history, in 
conjunction with Racine. The doors of the French Aca- 
demy were likewise opened to him, and those of other 
literary societies. Boileau, like the rest of his country- 
men, carried his admiration of his king to a degree of 
enthusiasm : he applauded his actions with delicacy and 
sincerity ; but was at court, as in other places, inflexible 
in his principles in all matters relative to the Belles 
Jjettres; and carried at times, his independence to the 


extent of rudeness. Being one day asked by the king 
what authors had succeeded best in comedy ? " I only 
know one," replied the satirist, "and that is Moliere : the 
rest have written nothing but farces, like the wretched 
pieces of Scarron." Another time, declaiming against 
burlesque poetry to the king, and in the presence of Mad. 
de Maintenon — "Happily," said he, "the taste for such 
productions is gone by ; and Scarron even is only read in 
the provinces." His opinion being asked by Louis XIV. 
upon some verses which he had composed ; " Sire," 
answered the poet, " nothing is impossible to your Ma- 
jesty : you were desirous of writing bad verses, and have 
completely succeeded." 

After the death of Racine, Boileau, who was united to 
that great man by the strongest ties of friendship and 
esteem, seldom appeared at court, except to receive the 
commands of the king respecting his history. He passed 
the remainder of his days in retirement, either in town or 
country. He lamented, in his latter years, the misfor- 
tunes which terminated the reign of a monarch, of which 
he had been one of the principal ornaments ; and feeling 
his end approach, resigned himself to his fate with 
Christian fortitude, and died on the 11th of March, 17-11, 
at the age of seventy -five. 

Boileau,to talents of the first Order, united great purity 
of manners, sociability, and benevolence. Though, at 
times, reserved and austere in his disposition, he was com- 
pariable and easy of access— as the number of his friends 
sufficiently proves. His heart was good, but his judgment 
unrelenting. He beheld an enemy in every bad writer ; 
but often relieved the wants of those whose works he 
consigned to oblivion. The celebrated Patru being re- 
duced to the necessity of selling his library, Despreaux 


purchased it at a higher price than had been offered, and 
left him in possession of it until his death. The authors 
of Cassandre experienced also repeated marks of his bene- 
ficence* Besides his poetical productions, of whose indi- 
vidual merit it is unnecessary to speak, he translated the 
Treatise on the Sublime, by Longinus : to which, on being 
engaged in the dispute with Perrault, on the ancients and 
the moderns, he added some critical remarks. His prose, 
though always perspicuous, is by no means equal to his 
poetry. Mad. de Sevigne used to say to him, " You are 
tender in prose and cruel in versed Boileau, from his 
entrance into the republic of letters, may be considered 
as the reformer and legislator of the French Parnassus * 
whose verses rendered familiar to every capacity the 
laws which reason and the most enlightened ages have 
avowed. He fixed, in a great measure, the language of 
his country, by the purity of his diction, the force and 
harmony of his style ; and is regarded as the founder of 
its poetic schooL Not contented with combining in his 
own compositions truth with poetry, he taught his art 
to others upon the principles of true taste. "He must 
necessarily have been born," says Vauvernargues,"with a 
very superior genius, to avoid the bad examples of his 
cotemporaries, and to impose upon them his decrees* 
Voltaire, speaking of Boileau, thus expresses himself: 
"I shall never cease," said he to a celebrated personage^ 
recommending you to study that art in writing, which 
Despreaux so well understood and so ably taught — that 
respect for the language — that succession of ideas— that 
agreeable manner with which he conducts his reader — 
and that natural facility which genius only displays. He 
always performed what he was desirous of accomplishing, 
and attired reason, in harmonious verses, replete with 
imagery. At once clear, pertinent, easy, and happy in 
Ms expressions— if he rises not to any elevated height, he 


never sinks iuto insipidity. He was always acquainted 
with the full extent of his powers; and evinced consider- 
able judgment in the choice of subjects upon which they 
were employed." 

As a satirist, his admirers pretend that he surpassed 
Juvenal, and was at times equal to Horace ; hut he has 
been reproached for not sufficiently varying his phrases^ 
either in prose or verse. He has been likewise censured, 
not indeed for condemning the voluptuous morality of 
Quinault, but for not having rendered justice to the 
talents of that poet, who was at least equal to him in ele- 
gance, if not in force and sentiment. It must be con- 
fessed that he did not treat others with the same in- 
dulgence that he did himself, either in his writings or in 
his conversation. What can be more flattering than the 
following verses, which he wrote under his own portrait t 

Au joug de la raison asservissant la rime, 
Etmeme en imitant tou jours original, 
I'ai su dans mes ecrits — docte, enjoue, sublime, 
Rassembler en moi Perse, Horace et Juvenal. 

In his ninth Epistle, he has softened this eulogium ; 
but even in modifying it he says sufficient. 

Sais tu pour quoi mes vers sont lus dans les provinces, 
Sont recherches des peuple et regus chez les princes ? 
Ce n'st pas que leurs sons agreables. nombreaux, 
Soient toujours a Toreille egalement beureux, 
Qu 'en plus d'un lieu le sens n'y gene la mesure, 
Et qu'un mot quelque fois n'y brave la cesure. 
Mais c'est qu'en eux le vrai, du mensonge vainqueur, 
Par tout se montre aux yeux et va saisir le cceur j 
Que le bien et le mal y sont prises au juste 
Que jamais un faquin n'y tient un rang auguste ; 
Et que mon Cceur, toujours conduisant mon esprit, 
Ne dit lien aux lecteurs qu' a soi-meme il n'ait dit 


Ma pensee au grand jour partout s'offre et s'expose ; 
Et mon vers, bien ou ma!, dit toujours quelque chose. 

Nevertheless, upon a particular occasion, being asked 
for some lines by an engraver, for bis portrait, he dis- 
missed him by remarking — "I am not so great a coxcomb 
as to say any good of myself: nor blockhead enough to 
say any HIP Boileau, in writing, always composed the 
second line before the first, conceiving by this method 
that his verses had more sense and dignity. This, in his 
opinion, was one of the great secrets of French poetry, 
which had been communicated to him by Racine, of 
whom he acquired the art of making difficult rhymes. 
But this difficulty was concealed by the illustrious Trage- 
dian, under the charm of a versification ever flowing and 
elegant ; while the labour is frequently apparent in 
Boileau, particularly in his latter works. 


St. Bruno was born at Cologne, in the year 1051, of 
a noble and virtuous family. He came to Paris under 
the reign of Phillip I. where he began his studies, and 
went through a course of philosophy and theology, with 
the most brilliant success. He had even obtained a pro- 
fessor's chair, when his attainments, his merit, and his 
wisdom, procured him the offer of several ecclesiastical 

He was at first a monk at Cologne, afterwards at 
Rheims ; and was appointed chancellor of that church. 
Compelled to relinquish that appointment, through the 
tyranny of Archbishop Manasses, Bruno formed the re- 
solution to retire from the world, and to seclude him- 
self in some secret reccess, for the remainder of his days. 
His first habitation was at Saisse-Fontaine, in the neigh- 
bourhood of Langres. From thence, in the year 1084, 
he went to Grenoble, and, accompanied by his disciples, 
presented himself to St. Hughes, the bishop of the city. 
He declared to him their determination of living in the 
most retired and penitent manner. 

The holy bishop, " who had seen," he said, "seven 
stars glitter over the desert of Chartreuse," advised them 
to settle there, and put them in possession of that her- 
mitage, which was nothing but a mass of mountains, 
almost inaccessible, and of caverns and precipices. This 
was the cradle of the order of the Chartreux, which, in. 
process of time, extended itself over Europe. 


In this solitude, St Bruno and hk companions built 
an oratory, and some sorry huts, which served them as 
cells. There they lodged in pairs, after the example of 
the ancient solitaires of Egypt, following the ordinances 
of St. Benedict, which they accommodated to their 
mode of living. The peace which St Bruno experienced 
in this solitude, was at length disturbed by an order from 
Pope Urban II. formerly his disciple at Rheims, who 
compelled him to journey to Rome, to assist the holy 
chair with his council. On terminating the affairs 
which brought him to that city, the holy zealot, lost in 
the midst of a splendid court, surrrounded with the in? 
trigue and flattery of its parasites, refused the acceptance 
of several bishoprics, and returned to his seclusion in 
Calabria. He died in the monastery he had founded, 
in 1101, at the age of fifty. He was not cannoni^ecl 
before 1514. 

The habit of the Chartreux was white; and the singu-j 
lar obligations of this order were— incessant fasting — to 
observe the most rigorous silence— to pronounce only 
these words, "Brother, we must die ;" to sleep in a cof- 
fin — and that each should daily dig his grave. These 
Statutes were more philosophical than generally ima? 
gined, because they entirely seperated mortals from the 
world, which the most painful reflections first induce4 
them to leave. 

The retreat of St. Bruno, which excites the most lively 
interest in the beholder, and as engaged the attention 
of travellers of every age and country, is thus described 
by the poet Gray, in a letter to his mother, in whom it 
Inspired more than common concern. "It is a fortnight 
since we set out from hence, upon a little excursion to 
Geneva. We took the longest road, which lies through 


Savoy, on purpose to see the famous monastery, callc4 
the Grande Chartreuse, and had no reason to think our 
time lost. After having travelled seven days, very slow, 
(for we did not change horses, it being impossible for 
a chaise to go post in these roads,) we arrived at a little 
village, among the mountains of Savoy, called Echelles $ 
from thence we proceeded on horses, who are used to 
the way to the mountain of the Chartreuse. It is six 
miles to the top : the road runs winding up it, common? 
ly not six feet broad : on one hand is the rock, with 
woods of pine-trees hanging over-head ; on the other a 
monstrous precipice, almost perpendicular, at the bot- 
tom of which rolls a torrent, that sometimes tumbling 
among the fragments of stone that have fallen from on 
high, and sometimes precipitating itself down vast des,- 
cents, with a noise like thunder, which is still made 
greater by the echo from the mountains on each side, 
concurs to form one of the most solemn, the most ror 
mantic, and the most astonishing scenes I ever beheld. 
Add to this, the strange views made by the craggs an4 
cliffs ; on the other hand, the cascades, that in many 
places throw themselves from the very summit down into, 
the vale and the river below ; and many other particulars, 
impossible to describe, you will conclude, we had no, 
occasion to repent our pains. This place St. Bruno, 
chose to retire to, and upon its very top founded the 
aforesaid convent, which is the superior of the whole 
prder. When we came there, the two fathers, who are 
pommissioned to entertain strangers, (for the rest must 
neither speak one to another, nor to any one else,) re? 
peived us very kindly, and set hefore us % repast of 
(dried fish, eggs, butter, fruits, and all excellent in their, 
kind, and extremely neat ? They pressed us to spend, 
the night there, and to stay gome days with them, but 
fhis ; we could not do ; so they led about their house, 
9 ' 

ST. BRUNO. Lfrance. 

which is, you must think, like a little city ; for there 
are 100 fathers, besides 300 servants, that make their 
clothes, grind their corn, press their wine, and do every 
thing among themselves. The whole is quite orderly and 
simple ; nothing of finery : but the wonderful decency, 
and the strange situation, more than supply the place of 
it. In the evening we descended by the same way, pas- 
sing through many clouds, that were then forming them^ 
selves on the mountain's top." — And, in a letter to his 
friend West, he says, with his wonted enthusiasm, "In 
our little journey up to the Grande Chartreuse, I do not 
remember to have gone ten paces without an exclama- 
tion, that there was no restraining ; not a precipice, not 
a torrent, not a cliff, but is pregnant with religion and 
poetry. There are certain scenes that would awe an 
atheist into belief, without the help of other argument. 
One need not have a very fantastic imagination to see 
spirits at noon-day. You have death perpetually before 
your eyes ; only so far removed, as to compose the mind 
without frightening it. I am well persuaded, St. Bruno 
was a man of no common genius, to choose such a situr 
ation for his retirement ; and perhaps should have been 
a disciple of his, had I been born in his time." 

JE7w?'av'd by <x. CoaJcc- 

Xondon,2iit>iio-nd M I 'cnior, flood & Jharpe,Aitdny,ifioj . 


Michael Angelo Ameregi, surnamed Caravag- 
gio, from the place of his birth, a village in the Mila- 
nese, was born in 1569. This painter, though gifted 
with considerable talent, from his want of taste was not 
able to obtain the rank which nature appears to have as- 
signed him. He studied for a time the graceful manner 
of Georgione, whom he imitated and surpassed ; but the 
desire of signalizing himself, led him to establish a style 
of his own, in which energy and truth appear more con- 
spicuous than variety and manner. Little solicitous to 
please, he strove to astonish, and attained his aim by the 
extravagant opposition to light and shade. The seduc- 
tive force of his pencil, the boldness of his design, and 
propriety of his attitude, drew after him a number of 
followers, who, for a time, forgot that the undignified 
character which he gave to his productions, by the ser- 
vile imitation of forms, indiscriminately picked from the 
dregs of the people, reflected disgrace on the sublime 

Subjects of a tragical nature seem most fitted to the 
genius of Caravaggio ; and to this taste his violent and 
irascible temper naturally contributed. He was originally 
a labourer, and employed to carry the materials used by 
artists in frescos, when, feeling a strong disposition for 
painting, he devoted his nights to the study of design. 
His talents soon developed themselves, and his irritable 
and malevolent spirit having involved him in a quarrel, 
which compelled him to seek refuge in Venice, he was 

CARAVAGGIO. [italy. 

enabled to bring them to a degree of perfection. From 
Venice he travelled to Rome, where, through necessity; 
he was compelled to paint for Josepin ; when, fortunately; 
one of his pictures was noticed by the Cardinal del Monte, 
who drew him from indigence. Caravaggio was very in- 
dustrious, and obtained in a few years considerable cele- 
brity ; but his fiery disposition plunged him in continual 
broils with his brother painters, Meeting one day Jose- 
pin, whom he detested, he loaded him with abuse, drew 
his sword, and killed a young man, who attempted to 
assist his adversary. Obliged to quit Rome, he sought an 
asylum in a neighbouring state, where his pardon was 
procured ; but he had scarcely obtained his freedom, than 
he sought Josepin, and challenged him to fight a duel. — 
This Josepin refused, on the ground that he was a knight; 
Caravaggio, irritated at this pretext, set off for Malta; 
underwent the usual ceremonies, and was thought worthy 
by his bravery, of being armed Chevalier Servant. But 
when on the point of quitting the island, he insulted one 
of the principals of the order, and was thrown into pri- 
son, from whence he escaped at the risk of his life. Pur- 
sued by the guard, he was fired at, and wounded, and 
again imprisoned. But his courage was undaunted ; he 
perforated the walls of his dungeon, and was enabled to 
escape. A felucca conveyed him to the shores of Italy ; 
but, on his landing, he was surrounded by a guard, 
and seized as a pirate. The error was soon discovered; 
but in the contest, he lost the little treasure that he pos- 
sessed. So many accumulated misfortunes, plunged him 
in a state of despondency : abandoned, and without re- 
sources, he wandered for some time about the country; 
when, finding himself attacked by a violent fever, he 
reached with some difficulty Porto-Ercole, where he died 
in his fortieth year. 

i - 


Oliver Cromwell was descended of an ancient 
and respectable family in Huntingdonshire, and was son 
of Robert Cromwell, Esq. by Elizabeth, daughter of Sir 
Richard Steward, Knt. He was born in the parish of St. 
John, Huntingdon, April 24, 1599, and on the 23rd of 
April, 1616, was admitted of Sidney College, Cambridge^ 
under the tuition of Mr. Richard Howlett, who then 
observed of him, that he was not so much inclined to 
speculation as to action. Whilst he continued there, his 
father died, upon which he returned home, and fell into 
great irregularities of conduct, which induced his mother 
to remove him to Lincoln's Inn, in order to divert him 
from his extravagancies by the study of the law. But so 
sedentary an employment not suiting his disposition, he 
soon returned into the country, and continuing his former 
course of life, spent a great part of his paternal estate. 
At length he reformed his conduct, and became equally 
remarkable for the strictness of his morals, and his punc- 
tual application to the external duties of religion ; and 
having now an estate of £500 a year left him by Sir 
Robert Steward, his mother's brother, he married Eliza- 
beth, daughter of Sir James Bourchier, of Essex. In 1628, 
being chosen a member of the third parliament of King 
Charles I. he was appointed one of the committee of reli- 
gion ; and in 1637, upon the severities inflicted on the 
Puritan party, of which he professed himself, by arch- 
bishop Laud, he resolved, with several others, to remove 
into New England, but was prevented by a proclamation, 
prohibiting the disorderly transporting his Majesty's sub- 


jects to the plantations in America, without a royal 
licence. The king had afterwards ample reason to repent 
this exercise of his prerogative. The year following, by 
his opposition to the draining of the fens in Lincolnshire 
and the Isle of Ely, Cromwell gained so considerable an 
interest in those parts, that he was elected burgess for the 
town of Cambridge, in 1640, to serve in the long parlia- 
ment, in which he vigourously promoted the grand 
remonstrance of grievances. 

Such was the origin and slow advancement of a man 
who afterwards, in the course of a few years, was observed 
suddenly to emerge from his obscurity, raise himself to 
power and distinction, usurp the command of armies, 
overturn one of the most ancient monarchies of Europe, 
sentence his sovereign to death, and seat himself in his 
place. He is undoubtedly one of the most eminent and 
singular personages that occurs in history ; the strokes of 
his character are as open and strongly marked as the 
schemes of his conduct were, during the time, dark and 
impenetrable. His extensive capacity enabled him to 
form the most enlarged projects; his enterprising genius 
was not dismayed with the boldest and most dangerous. 
Carried by his natural temper to magnanimity, to grandeur, 
and to an imperious and domineering policy, he yet knew 
when necessary to employ the most profound dissimula- 
tion, the most oblique and refined artifice, the semblance 
of the greatest moderation and simplicity. A friend to 
justice, though his public conduct was one continued 
violation of it; devoted to religion, though he perpetually 
employed it as the instrument of his ambition ; he was 
engaged in crimes from the prospect of sovereign power, 
a temptation which is in general irresistible to human 
nature ; and by using well that authority which he 
obtained by fraud and violence, he has lessened, if not 


overpowered, our detestation of his enormities, by our 
admiration of his success and of his genius. 

Those who imagine they can trace, in every action of 
an extraordinary personage, some presage of his future 
grandeur, will find their experience contradicted, and 
their discernment of no avail in the character of Cromwell. 
His first appearance on the great theatre of the world was 
little protentive of his subsequent elevation. His conduct 
as a member of the house appears to have been below 
contempt. So early as 1629, we find him complaining of 
one, who, he was told, preached flat popery. It is amusing 
to observe the first words of this fanatical hypocrite cor- 
respond so exactly with his character. His person was 
ungraceful and plain ; his countenance rugged and mean ; 
his dress slovenly and negligent His delivery was harsh 
and uncouth ; his manner awkward and embarrassed. So 
singularly does nature distribute her talents, that, in a 
nation abounding with sense and learning, a man who, by 
superior personal merit, was to make his way to supreme 
dignity, and compel the parliament to make him a tender 
of the crown itself, was yet incapable of expressing him- 
self with common precision or propriety, but at all times 
delivered his harangues in a manner of which a peasant of 
the most ordinary capacity would justly be ashamed of. 
Upon an examination of his various speeches, we may 
discover that great defect consists not only in his want 
of elocution, but in his want of ideas. Indeed the saga- 
city of his actions, and the absurdity of style of speaking, 
form one of the most singular contrasts ever known. 

The very narrow limits to which we are confined, will 
enable us to present only a few observations upon this 
extraordinary man, with a rapid detail of his most pro- 
minent exploits. When the war broke out, he first com= 


manded a troop of horse, and immediately distinguished 
himself by securing Cambridge, and taking prisoner, after 
a bold manoeuvre, at St Albans, the high sheriff of Hert- 
fordshire. For these services he was appointed a colonel 
in the army of the parliament ; and obtained a victory at 
Gainsborough, over a party of royalists commanded by 
the gallantCavendish. His activity, his personal courage, 
a quick discernment, which saw, and a resolution that 
overpowered every obstacle, soon procured him the notice 
and esteem of his superiors ; and he succeeded, in 1644, 
to the rank of lieutenant-general, under the earl of 
Manchester. He principally contributed to the victory at 
Marston-Moor ; and though he yet held but a secondary 
rank, was already considered as the most able and con- 
spicuous among the enemies of the king. He had con- 
nected himself with the independants, a set of men who 
rejected all ecclesiastical establishments, and would admit 
of no spiritual courts, no governmen t among pastors, no 
interposition of the magistrate in religious concerns, no 
fixed encouragement annexed to any system of doctrines 
or opinions. The enthusiasm of the presbyterians led 
them to reject the authority of prelates, to throw off the 
restraints of liturgies to retrench ceremonies, to limit the 
riches and authority of the clergy. The fanaticism of the 
independants, exalted to a higher pitch, abolished all 
ecclesiastical government, disdained creeds and systems, 
neglected every ceremony, and confounded all ranks and 
orders. Their political principles were entirely republican. 
They aspired to a total abolition of the monarchy, and 
even of the aristocracy. In consequence of these ideas, 
they were declared enemies to all proposals of peace be? 
tween the contending parties of the king and parliament; 
and they adhered to the maxim, that whoever draws the 
sword against the sovereign, must throw away the scab- 
bard. That such were the views and projects of Crom 5 


well, appears in his disputes with the earl of Manchester. 
Cromwell had reproached him with not pushing the 
advantages obtained by the arms of the parliament; and, 
in the public debates, asserted, that this nobleman had 
wilfully neglected, at Dennington castle, a favourable 
opportunity of finishing the war by a total defeat of the 
royalists. Manchester, by way of recrimination, informed 
the parliament, that at another time, Cromwell having 
proposed some scheme, to which it seemed improbable 
the parliament would agree, he insisted and said, " My 
lord, if you will stick firm to honest men, you shall find 
yourself at the head of an army which shall give law 
both to king and parliament." " This discourse," con- 
tinued Manchester, " made the greater impression on 
me, because I knew the lieutenant-general to be a man 
of very deep designs ; and he has even ventured to tell 
me, that it never would be well with England till I were 
Mr. Montague, and there were never a lord or peer in 
the kingdom." So full was Cromwell of these republican 
projects, that notwithstanding his habits of profound 
dissimulation, he could not so carefully guard his expres- 
sions, but that sometimes his favourite notions would 
escape him. 

It may not be unnecessary to examine here how far 
this fanatical spirit, particularly in religious matters, was 
natural or assumed, and to notice the different lights in 
which Cromwell has been considered by historians. By 
some he has been drawn as a gloomy enthusiast, strongly 
embrued with all the bigotry of his times, and impelled 
by a sincere and devout abhorence of monarchy and the 
priesthood. His native sentiments, thus assimilating 
with the prejudices and opinions of his contemporaries, 
recommended him to their choice, and principally con- 
tributed to his unparalleled advancement. Others have 


represented him as a crafty and designing politician, 
artfully taking advantage of prejudices he despised, con- 
trouling, by his superior genius, the instability of fortune, 
and chalking out for himself the paths that lead to great- 
ness. Upon an attentive review of every passage of his 
life, it will be found that neither of these portraits present 
him in his true light. In the early part of his career, it 
may be believed that he was sincere in the opinions he 
maintained ; that independence, or rather perversion of 
principles, which he displayed both in religion and 
politics, was, no doubt, open and unaffected, at a time 
when he could not be supposed to foresee the splendid 
elevation which he afterwards attained. But when the 
course of events raised him to unexpected notice and 
estimation, and his mind became enlarged by a more 
liberal commerce with mankind, his natural sagacity 
discovered to him how easily he might govern others by 
the same enthusiasm by which he himself had been 
misled ; and if he continued to use the same language, it 
was no longer from internal conviction, but as a con- 
venient cover to his own ambition and deceit. The 
establishment of his own authority upon the ruin of that 
of the king, became the constant aim of his thoughts and 
actions; and the rigid principles and self-denying maxims 
of his youth readily gave way to the more imperious sug- 
gestions of private interest. But it is difficult to imagine 
that he had, from the beginning, pursued a premeditated 
plan to found his greatness on the credulity and en- 
thusiasm of others. It is more agreeable to the narrow- 
ness of human views, more consistent with the uncertainty 
of futurity to suppose, that this daring usurper suffered 
himself to be guided by events, and that he was indebted 
for his power more to a favourable succession of circum- 
stances, than to any miraculous gift of premature discern- 


The defeat of the royal army at Naseby, while it esta- 
blished the authority of the parliament, increased the 
power and influence of Cromwell, to whose valour and 
conduct it was chiefly owing. But the power of the 
parliament was of short duration. No sooner had they 
subdued their sovereign, than their own servants rose 
against them. The sacred boundaries of the law being 
once violated, nothing remained to confine the wild 
projects of zeal and ambition, and every successive 
revolution became a precedent for that which followed 
it. The army mutinied ; the generals, particularly 
Cromwell, secretly fomented those disorders which they 
pretended to appease. A military parliament was 
formed, in opposition to that at Westminster. But 
Cromwell, whose dissimulation was now at its height, 
while he was thus establishing a new assembly of repre- 
sentatives, professed the utmost devotion to the old one. 
He conducted himself with such. refined hypocrisy, that 
he deceived those, who, being themselves dexterous in 
the same arts, should naturally have entertained the 
more suspicions against him. At every complaint of 
disorders in the army, he affected to be moved to the 
highest pitch of grief and anger. He wept, he lamented 
the misfortunes of his country ; he advised every violent 
measure for suppressing the mutiny ; and by these pre- 
cipitate counsels at once seemed to evince his own sin- 
cerity, and inflamed those discontents of which he 
intended to take advantage. But his secret practices 
being at length discovered, the parliamentary leaders 
secretly resolved that the next time he should come to 
the house, an accusation should be entered against him, 
and that he should be sent to the Tower. Cromwell, 
who in the conduct of his desperate enterprises fre- 
quently approached to the very brink of destruction, 
knew how to make the requisite turn with proper 


boldness and dexterity. Being informed of this design, 
he hastened to the camp, where he was received with 
acclamations, and instantly invested with the supreme 

Perhaps Cromwell, at this time, had it in his power 
to restore his sovereign to his lost authority ; and it 
appears now to he generally believed, that a secret 
negociation to this effect was carried on between the 
king and him. The garter, the earldom of Essex, and 
the command of the army, were to be the rewards of 
his returning loyalty. The king, who had no suspicion 
that one born a private gentleman could entertain the 
daring ambition of seeking a sceptre transmitted through 
a long line of monarchs, indulged the hope that he 
would embrace a measure which every motive of duty, 
interest, and safety so strongly enforced ; and Cromwell 
himself might not be unwilling to leave the door open 
for an accommodation, should the course of events at 
any time render it necessary. But whether he suspected 
the king's sincerity, or that he found insuperable diffi- 
culty in reconciling the army to such a measure, it was 
soon dropt, and he continued his scheme for reducing 
the parliament to subjection, and of depriving them of 
the means of resistance. The imprudent flight of the 
king to the Isle of Wight, and his refusal to concede to 
all the demands of his revolted subjects, were so many 
incidents that justified Cromwell, in his own opinion, in 
following all the suggestions of his boundless ambition. 
Returning victorious from an expedition to Scotland, he 
marched to London, expelled the most moderate mem- 
bers of the parliament, a majority of whom might yet 
have saved the king, retained only the most furious and 
determined of the independents, and completed his 
iniquity by the trial and execution of his sovereign. 


Preserving to the last moment his impious and barefaced 
hypocrisy — "Should any one," said he in the house, 
"have voluntarily proposed to bring the king to punish- 
ment, I should have regarded him as a traitor ; but 
since Providence and necessity have cast us upon it, I 
will pray to God for a blessing on your counsels, though 
I am not prepared to give you any advice on this im- 
portant occasion. Even I myself," added he, " when I 
was lately offering up petitions for his majesty's restora- 
tion, felt my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, and 
considered this preternatural movement as the answer 
which Heaven, having rejected the king, had sent to my 
supplications." At length he succeeded in his criminal 
design, and from a window of the palace, beheld the 
fatal stroke which deprived the unfortunate Charles of 
life, and prepared the way for his own usurped authority. 

If it were possible that a crime of so deep a dye could 
admit of the slightest extenuation, it must be confessed 
that the subsequent exploits of Cromwell were calculated 
to weaken, if they could not obliterate, in the minds of 
the people, the remembrance of an act then unparalleled 
in the annals of mankind, and of which only one 
example could be produced in the history of ancient or 
modern Europe, in the person of Agis, of Lacedseiiion, 
300 years before the Christian sera. Having obtained 
the appointment of lord-deputy of Ireland, he crossed 
the sea, seized on all the towns which yet adhered to 
the royal cause, and did not leave the island till that 
unfortunate party was dispersed. In the following year 
he was summoned to Scotland, where Charles II. had 
been received as king by the covenanters, who refused 
obedience to the commonwealth of England, encountered 
the Scottish army at Dunbar, and, in a situation where 
every thing appeared to announce his own discomfiture; 


availed himself of an erroneous movement of the enemy, 
and on the 3rd of September, 1651, gained the most 
signal victory which that age had witnessed. On the 
same day of the ensuing year, he again defeated the royal 
army at Worcester, reduced the young king to seek 
safety in a precipitate and dangerous flight, and in a 
few hours destroyed the last remaining hopes of the 

The power and ambition of Cromwell were ;now too 
great to brook submission to the empty name of a 
republic, which maintained itself chiefly by his influence, 
and was supported by his victories. To his most intimate 
friends he began to disclose his aspiring views ; and, it 
is said, he already expressed a desire of assuming the 
rank of king, which he had contributed, with such 
seeming zeal, to abolish. But the vigour and energy of 
the parliament, the success of their arms in Scotland 
and Ireland, and their naval victories over the Dutch, 
which gave them a temporary popularity, appear to have 
suspended his projects. Their jealousy of Cromwell, 
which prompted them to attempt his destruction, ac- 
celerated his measures, and their own dissolution. On 
such a firm foundation was built the credit of this 
extraordinary man, that though so great a master of 
fraud and dissimulation, he judged it superfluous to 
employ any disguise in conducting this bold enterprize. 
With every mark of contempt and disgust, he annihilated 
that famous assembly which had filled all Europe with 
the renown of its actions, and with astonishment at its 
crimes; and whose commencement was not more ardently 
desired by the people, than was its final dissolution. 
From that moment, all the power, civil and military, of 
the three kingdoms, was lodged in the hands of Cromwell, 
who established a military government, and was himself 


solemnly inaugurated as Lord Protector of the Common- 
wealth of England. 

When the ambitious desires of Cromwell were thus 
finally gratified, and he had seated himself in the vacant 
throne, with the power, though not accompanied with 
the title of a monarch, his public conduct assumes an 
air of grandeur, which imposes on the reader; and 
though we cannot detail the events which signalized his 
government, we must acknowledge that they exalted his 
character, and dignified his usurpation. His adminis- 
tration was active, vigilant, and bold. His magnanimity 
undervalued danger ; his restless disposition and avidity 
of extensive glory made him incapable of repose. The 
success of his measures, the number of his alliances, and 
the awe which he inspired among the nations of the 
Continent, gave a weight to England which it had 
seldom enjoyed under the reigns of her hereditary sove- 
reigns. The great mind of this successful usurper was 
perpetually intent on spreading the renown of his 
country; and while he struck mankind with astonish- 
ment at his extraordinary fortunes, he seemed to ennoble, 
instead of debasing, the people whom he had enslaved. 
It was his boast, that he would render the name of an 
Englishman as much dreaded and revered as that of a 
Roman was. It must also be acknowledged, that in his 
civil and domestic administration, he displayed as much 
regard to justice and clemency, as his usurped authority, 
founded on no law, and depending only on the sword, 
could possibly admit. The seats of judicature were filled 
with men of integrity ; the decrees of the judges, amid 
all the virulence of faction, were upright and impartial ; 
to every man but to himself, the law was the great rule 
of conduct. And, what is more extraordinary, con- 
sidering his birth, and the obscurity of his early life, his 


personal deportment corresponded with his elevation, 
and was not unworthy the greatest monarch. He main- 
tained dignity without affectation, and supported, before 
strangers, the high idea which his great exploits and 
prodigious fortune had impressed them with. He was 
generous, without profusion, to those who served him : 
and he knew how to find out, and engage in his interests, 
every man possessed of those talents which any particular 
employment demanded. His generals, his admirals, his 
judges, his ambassadors, were persons who contributed 
all of them, in their several spheres, to the security of 
the protector, and to the honour and interest of the 
nation. In religion only he continued to act with the 
same hypocrisy to which he owed his elevation. With 
the pretended saints he laid aside the state of a sove- 
reign; with them he sighed, he wept, he canted, he 

Such was the conduct of Cromwell in the few splendid 
years of his administration. It is well known, that to 
the arbitrary power and more than regal privileges which 
he enjoyed, he ardently desired to add the title of king ; 
and it is not a little remarkable, that the principal 
opposition which was made to this his favorite design, 
proceeded from his own family. Fleetwood and Des- 
borough, who were connected with him by marriage, 
and were actuated by principle alone, could not be 
induced to consent that their friend and patron should 
assume the royal dignity. After the agony and per- 
plexity of a long and tedious hesitation, he was obliged 
to refuse the crown, which the representatives of the 
nation, in the most solemn manner, had tendered to 
him. But the grandeur which he had attained with so 
much guilt and courage, could not ensure him that 
tranquillity which virtue alone and moderation can give. 


His constant dread of assassination, the measures he 
took for the security of his person, his apprehensions, 
perhaps his remorse, and the domestic calamities which 
embittered his latter days, are too well known to be 
repeated here. His health, hitherto robust and good, 
sunk under the anxiety of his mind, and he expired of a 
tertian ague, on the 3d of September, 1658, happy only 
in this, that he died at a crisis when it was thought that 
all his courage and dexterity could not much longer have 
protracted his usurped administration. 

It has been the object of these few pages rather to 
review the character of this extraordinary man, than to 
give a chronological list of his actions. We need there- 
fore only add, that his moral character was perhaps not 
so exceptionable as it has been generally represented. 
On the contrary, it is truly surprising that he should 
unite so much violent ambition and enraged fanaticism 
with such regard to justice and humanity. Even the 
murder of the king, his most atrocious measure, was to 
him covered under a cloud of republican and fanatical 
illusions ; for it is the peculiar characteristic of fanati- 
cism to give a sanction to any measure, however cruel 
and unjust, that tends to promote its own interests, 
which are supposed to be the same with those of the 
Deity, and to which, consequently, all moral obligations 
are expected to give way. 



Diogenes, the son of Isecius, a banker, was born at 
Sinope, a city of Pontus, in the third year of the ninety- 
first Olympiad, 419 years before Jesus Christ. Accused, 
with his father, of making- counterfeit money, he resolved 
to withdraw himself from Athens. " The Sinopeans," 
said he on this subject, " have compelled me to quit their 
dirty city, and I condemn them to remain there." Upon 
his arrival at Athens, he went to Antisthenes, the founder 
of the sect of cynics, and asked him permission to 
become his disciple. This Antisthenes, who had deter- 
mined no longer to keep a school, refused. He, however, 
persisted in his request. Antisthenes, enraged, raised 
his stick over him. " Strike," said Diogenes, " but you 
will never find a stick strong enough to dismiss me, while 
you have any thing to teach." Antisthenes at length 
acquiesced. The disciple very soon surpassed his master. 
He was desirous only of repelling the passions ; the 
other undertook to destroy them. The learned author of 
the "Voyage du Jeune Anacharsis," has thus analyzed 
the philosophy of Diogenes. " The sage, to be happy 
in his opinion, ought to make himself independent 
of fortune, of mortals, and of himself: of fortune, in 
braving her favours and caprice ; of men, in bearing 
up against prejudice, customs, and even the laws, 
when they are not conformable to reason ; of himself, in 
endeavouring to harden his body against the rigour of 
seasons, and his soul against the attraction of pleasure." 

It will be seen that the conduct of Diogenes was 


conformable to his principles. His only article of 
furniture was a wooden cup, which he demolished on 
seeing a boy drink from the hollow of his hand. Having 
requested a corner in a house to retire to at night, upon 
some difficulties being started, he obtained a tub, in 
which he took up his abode. This he rolled before him 
wherever he went. In this singular dwelling he received, 
at Corinth, the visit of Alexander. " What shall I do 
for thee," said the monarch. " Step a little on one 
side," replied the cynic, " you are between me and the 
sun." Alexander admired this reply, and said, " If I 
were not Alexander, I should desire to be Diogenes." 
In summer, Diogenes rolled himself in burning sand. 
In winter he walked with naked feet on snow, and 
embraced statues of marble and bronze. He was desirous 
of accustoming himself to eat raw flesh; but this 
he could not accomplish. The desire of signalizing 
himself, entered certainly into all he said or did. Of 
this Plato was not the dupe. One day, perceiving 
Diogenes with his clothes over his shoulders while it 
rained, whose situation was lamented by the populace ; 
" If you wish," said Plato, " to render him truly unhappy, 
go your way, and do not regard him." Another day, 
Diogenes went into the house of Plato, and beholding 
a rich carpet, he affected to trample it under foot. 
"I tread," said he, "on the ostentation of Plato." 
" True," said the philosopher, " but it is through pride 
of a different kind." Plato had denned man — an 
animal without feathers on two legs. Diogenes stripped 
a cock ; and carrying it under his cloak, threw it in the 
middle of the academy, saying, " behold Plato's Man" 
This was attacking a bad definition by a pleasantry still 
worse. Diogenes was at times infinitely more happy 
in his bon mots. He was ready and pointed in repartee; 
but his asperity was extreme. Regardless of decency 


and propriety ; braving, and even exposing himself to 
injury and ill treatment, he attacked, without distinction, 
all who came before him, from the monarch to the mean- 
est citizen. We shall notice some of his most ingenious 
sallies, after having terminated the short recital of 
his life. Taking an excursion by sea, he was captured 
by some pirates, who carried him into Crete, and offered 
him to sale in the public market place. He performed, 
himself, the office of cryer, and said, " Who is willing 
to buy a Master T A person named Xeniades stepping 
forward to make the purchase, asked him what he could 
do ? " I can command man," was his reply. When 
Xeniades had bought him, he said to him, " Now that 
you are my master, be prepared to obey me." Xeniades, 
however, made him preceptor to his children, and what 
will appear extraordinary, he acquitted himself extremely 
well in this employ. He strengthened the bodies of 
his pupils by regimen and exercise ; inculcated in their 
minds the principles of the purest morality, and.improved 
their understanding by making them commit to memory 
the finest passages of the Greek poets. The only thing 
that seemed reprehensible in his system of education, 
was that he permitted his disciples to dress themselves 
almost as negligently as himself. In other respects 
they greatly esteemed him, and incessantly applauded 
him before their parents. Some of his friends were 
disposed to remove him out of slavery. " You are want- 
ing in sense," said he to them, " do you not know that 
the lion is not the slave of those who feed him, but that 
they are the vassals of the lion ? " and persisted in 
remaining with Xeniades. It is imagined that he con- 
tinued in this condition till a late period of his life, and 
died in the first year of the 1 04th Olympiad, aged about 


The cause of his death is uncertain. Some believe 
that he voluntarily suffocated himself, by retaining his 
breath. He was found enveloped in his mantle, in the 
attitude of a man asleep. He was honored with a mag- 
nificent funeral, and a tomb was raised to his memory, 
upon which was placed a dog in marble, as emblematic 
of the sect he embraced. 

A selection of his witticisms will throw considerable 
light on his mind and character. A man born at Minda, 
asked him what he thought of the city. " I would 
advise the inhabitants," he replied, " to shut their gates, 
lest it should run away." Some one speaking to him of 
astronomy, he said, How long is it since you left the 
skies ? Passing by Megara, he beheld, at the same 
moment, the children quite naked, and the sheep cover- 
ed with a rich fleece. " It is here better," said he, " to 
be a sheep than a child." A tyrant, whose name is not 
mentioned, asked him one day what metal was the most 
proper for statues : " That," he replied, " in which Har- 
modius and Aristogiton were cast." On being asked 
why he eat in the public streets, and in the market 
places : " Because hunger attacks me there as in other 
situations." An unskilful archer, adjusting an arrow to 
his bow, Diogenes ran to place himself before the target. 
" Why do you stand there,' ' said they to him. " Lest I 
should be shot," was his reply. A philosopher, denying 
in his presence the power of motion, he rose up, and 
began to walk. — " It is thus I refute your argument." 
But Diogenes did not confine himself to these sarcasms 
and ingenious sallies ; he disclosed, at times, maxims 
replete with good sense and true philosophy. The 
wisdom he displayed in some of his discourses, and the 
eccentricity of his conduct, fully justify the remark of 
Plato — Diogenes is a Socrates deranged. 


Solomon Gessner, printer and poet, was born at 
Zurich, in Switzerland, in 1730, where he acquired more 
celebrity by his poems than by his impressions. 

A bad system of education established in this country, 
made poetry be regarded not only as an idle occupation, 
but as contrary to religion and morality. Gessner, in 
attaching himself to the Muses, proved himself the child 
of Nature. He felt pleasure in painting her in her most 
agreeable situations, amid the peaceful labours of pas- 
toral life, and the rustic virtues of hospitality. His muse 
is a shepherdess, distinguished for modesty, innocence, 
and beauty. Nothing can equal the sprightliness and 
the delicacy of his Idyllia. This species of poetry he 
carried to the highest pitch of perfection. More varied 
than Theocritus, more interesting than Sannazarius, 
Gessner gave to her the most striking features, and to 
filial respect the warmest gratitude. He printed his 
Idyllia in 1773, having previously made the designs, and 
engraved the plates with his own hand. We also owe 
to this poet, Daphne, or the First Navigator. " If the 
severe fidelity of history ," says a critic, " considers the 
thirst of wealth as the origin of navigation, it belonged 
to the fertile imagination of the poet to represent love as 
raising the first mast, and spreading the first sail on the 
expanse of the ocean : to picture a young man, animated 
by the valour which a lively and tender passion inspires, 
braving the billows on a majestic swan, surrounded by 
the Nereides, tritons, and sea monsters, who frolic beside 

GESSNER. [swixz e rla n d. 

his vessel." It is impossible to give to navigation a 
more pleasing origin; and had it been consecrated by 
the poets of antiquity, the gallant Horace would not have 
cased his heart in triple steel who first ventured in a 
small bark to expose himself to the deep. 

But his reputation became principally extended by the 
Death of Abel, which met with numerous admirers ; the 
mind being greatly impressed by the union of religious 
majesty and pastoral simplicity. In the poem of Evander, 
Gessner proves himself not only a celebrated poet, but 
an admirable landscape painter, a good engraver, and 
most tasteful musician. He with great reason, confined 
the Graces to one family, to which Gessner was admitted. 
We behold in him at the same time the faithful friend, 
the good husband, the tender parent, and irreproachable 
magistrate. He had the good fortune to meet with a 
companion worthy of him, whose beauty, wit, and talents 
formed the happiness of his life. The disposition of 
Gessner was naturally melancholic ; but in the bosom of 
his family, he became cheerful and serene. His conversa- 
tion was lively and animated ; and his manner courteous, 
notwithstanding the multitude of strangers who obtruded 
themselves in order to know and to admire him. 

He died at Zurich, of a paralytic affection, on the 2d 
of March, 1788, at the age of fifty-eight. 

The poems of Gessner have been translated into the 
European languages. The Abbes Bertola, Fern, and 
Matteo Procopeo, professor of Italian literature in the 
Academy Carolini, have made them known in Italy. A 
complete translation, of his works into French has been 
executed by Hubert ; and in England various of his best 
publications have met with infinite success. 

.?xji/i;rd Mr Sitrufu 

"■us'rtvj cv iT.LMtctr. 

Xondon.JPub&rh'd by Ytmjr.JRood .(■ Marpe^ouhrwiSoj 


Guido Reni, usually called Guido, was born at 
Bologna, in 1574. At an early age he was placed by his 
father under Denis Calvert, a Flemish painter of great 
reputation, whom he soon quitted, to enter himself in the 
school of the Caracci. The style of these eminent 
masters, who held him in great esteem, he for a time 
carefully studied ; but these illustrious artists becoming 
jealous of his success, he was induced to adopt the 
manner of Caravaggio, which, at the instigation of 
Annibal Caracci, he soon after relinquished, and fixed 
on a manner peculiar to himself. It is to this style, at 
once easy, graceful, and magnificent, that he owes his 
present celebrity, and is ranked among the first and best 
artists of his age. 

Guido was the rival and friend of Albani, and travelled 
with him to Rome, where he was received by Josepin as 
one capable of exciting the envy of Caravaggio. To 
expose the defects of this master, he, in fact, took plea- 
sure in displaying the new manner of Guido. From a 
spirit of resentment, Caravaggio treated him with marked 
indifference, which hastened, it is imagined, his return 
to Bologna. But his fame, which was continually 
increasing, having attracted the attention of Paul V. he 
was recalled to Rome by that pontiff, who rewarded his 
labours with considerable liberality. Guido, however, 
being incensed at the conduct of his treasurer, left Rome 
a second time, and the pope was obliged to enter into a 
species of negociation, to regain this illustrious artist. 

GUIDO RENI. [italy. 


Opposed by circumstances to the best painters of his 
time, he presented himself in competition with Domeni- 
chino, to paint the Martyrdom of Saint Andrew. In this 
contest he was eminently successful ; but he had not the 
suffrage of Annibal Caracci. Guido, in fact, is less pro- 
found, and less natural, than Domenichino ; but he is 
equal to him in judgment ; and it may be truly said, that 
in point of effect, in delicacy of idea, in elegance of 
design, and freedom of pencil, he has been rarely sur- 
passed. In the graceful airs of his heads, and the beau- 
tiful turn of his female forms, he is truly admirable, while 
the disposition of his objects in general, and his colour- 
ing, demand peculiar praise. But it was in the delinea- 
tion of pathetic, tender, and devout subjects, that he 
particularly excelled, and claims precedence almost over 
every other painter. ■ It is observed by De Piles, that the 
merit of Guido consisted in that moving and persuasive 
beauty, which did not so much proceed from a regularity 
of features as from a lovely air which he gave to the 
mouth, with a peculiar modesty which he had the art to 
place in the eye. 

His draperies are disposed with considerable grandeur, 
and are appropriated with singular judgment. Though 
deficient in the principles of chiaro-scuro, he sometimes 
practised it with success. His pencil was light, his touch 
free, but delicate ; and although he laboured his pictures 
highly, he generally gave some bold strokes to his work 
to conceal the toil and time he had bestowed upon it. 
" Of female beauty," says the ingenious Fuseli, " the 
antique, the Venus de Medici, but more the Daughter of 
Niobe, became his standard ; and often with a monotony, 
to incur the charge of manner. If he consulted nature, 
it was less for variety and character than fleshiness of 
touch. His attitudes seldom elevate themselves to the 

italy.] GUIDO RENI. 

pure expression and graceful simplicity of the face ; the 
grace of Guido is the grace of theatres ; the mode, not the 
motive, determines the action : his Magdalens weep to 
be seen ; his Hero throws herself over her Leander ; his 
Lucretias stab themselves with the studied airs and am- 
bitious postures of buckled heroines. It would, however, 
be unjust not to allow that there are exceptions from this 
affectation in his works : Helen, departing with Paris, is 
one which alone might atone for every other blemish. In 
her divine face the sublime purity of Niobe is mixed with 
the charms of Venus ; the wife, the mother, gave indeed 
way to the lover, but spread a soft melancholy which 
tempers her fervour with dignity. Her expression is 
supported by the careless and unconscious elegance of 
her attitude, whilst that of Paris, stately, courteous, 
insipid, gives him more the air of an ambassador attending 
her by proxy, than that of a lover carrying her off himself. 
His male forms, in general, are indeed little more than 
transcripts of models ; such as are found in a genial 
climate, sometimes characterised by juvenile grace and 
vigorous manhood, but seldom elevated to ideal beauty." 

Guido in private life was improvident and proud. In 
his painting-room he displayed considerable hauteur, and 
exacted from his pupils the utmost respect. He always 
remained covered before his visitors, however elevated 
they might be in rank, and was often heard to say, that 
" he would not exchange his pencil for a cardinal's cap." 
In society, however, he was cautious and modest ; which 
proves that he was only desirous of being distinguished 
for his excellence in his art. He passed a life of celibacy, 
and his manners were irreproachable ; but his passion for 
gaming troubled his repose. In this gratification he lost 
considerable sums, and reduced himself to poverty. His 
talents consequently became impaired, and, abandoned 

GUIDO RENI. [italy. 

by his friends, this celebrated artist, who for many years 
would not condescend to set a price on his chef d? ceuvres, 
was compelled, in his declining years, to work for imme- 
diate subsistence. This gave him the habit of painting 
in a negligent manner, wholly regardless of his honour 
or his fame. 

He died nearly in a state of indigence, in the year 
1642, aged sixty-seven. 

tainted hi r in~m:., 

■ bj ff.Coolce 


Claud-Adrian Helvetius was born at Paris, in 
the year 1715. His grandfather, a Dutch physician, had 
quitted his country to seek an establishment in France, 
and was ennobled by Louis XIV. His father, first 
physician to the Queen, a counsellor of state, and member 
of the Academy of Sciences, died in 1755, regretted by 
the poor, and author of several esteemed works. Helve- 
tius announced, from his earliest youth, the most happy 
disposition, and the most lively taste for literature. In 
his first successes he was indebted to the celebrated 
Father Poree — an excellent master, who perfectly under- 
stood the art of discovering the genius and character of 
his pupils, and the mode of displaying them to advan- 
tage. Destined by his family for the employment of a 
financier, Helvetius obtained, at the age of 23, the 
situation of Farmer-General. He exercised the functions 
of his place during fifteen years, and resigned, in order 
to marry Mademoiselle de Ligneville, a lady of high 
birth, but of no fortune. He then devoted himself 
entirely to the calm pleasures of domestic life, to the 
exercise of the most active benevolence, the society of 
men of letters, and the study of philosophy. He died, 
of the gout, on the 26th of December, 1771 ; his widow 
survived him nearly thirty years. " Few men," says St. 
Lambert, ' ' have been more favorably treated by nature. 
From her he received beauty, health, and genius. His 
features were noble and regular. His eyes expressed the 
ruling qualities of his character, which were sweetness 
and benevolence." 

HELVETIUS. [France. 

The celebrity of Helvetius is founded on the book 
entitled " Of the mind," which he published in 1758. 
It appeared with an eclat which exposed the author to a 
long and violent persecution. All classes combined to 
condemn a work, which, to use the expression of a lively 
woman, betrayed every one's secret. The Journals 
decried it, the Sorbonne launched its censures, the Inqui- 
sition of Rome, at the solicitation of the French clergy, 
condemned it, the parliament indicted it, and the council 
suppressed it. Assailed by so many enemies, he had at 
least the consolation of being upheld by the most distin- 
guished literati of his time, and was probably not a little 
flattered by the extensive fame he acquired, and which 
he had so long coveted. His book was translated into 
almost every language in Europe, and was every where 
read with avidity. Hume and Robertson spoke of it as 
a superior work ; Sweden, Russia, Germany, and Italy, 
resounded with his praise ; and what is still more extra- 
ordinary, two cardinals secretly added their suffrages to 
those of the public. One of them wrote to the author, 
that at Rome they were at a loss to account for the folly 
and wickedness of his enemies. 

It would be foreign to the plan of these biographical 
sketches to present any extensive analysis of this cele- 
brated work, or of the treatise, Of Man and his Faculties, 
which was published the year after the author's death, 
and which is, in fact, only the supplement to the other. 
We shall content ourselves with merely defining what 
may be called the philosophy of Helvetius. As a meta- 
physician, he is of the school of Locke. But in pursuing 
the method and arrangement of his great master, he has 
added nothing to his doctrine. He very often renders it 
obscure — and every step he takes beyond the wise limits 
of his sagacious precursor, is marked by confusion and 

France.] HELVETIUS. 

error. Locke had demonstrated the truth of that maxim 
of the ancients, that all our ideas are derived from our 
senses; but, in proceeding further, the English philoso- 
pher had encountered difficulties, which he has exposed 
without attempting to solve them. Helvetius, with 
greater hardihood, has asserted that every faculty in man 
is reduced to a sensibility altogether physical; but of this 
assertion he affords no proof. Locke has said that we are 
born slaves of the objects which surround us. Helvetius 
has insisted that all are by nature the same, and that it is 
by education alone that men are distinguished. Thus the 
suggestion of Locke is magnified by Helvetius into a 
positive axiom, controverted by experience and denied by 
facts. As a moralist, he deserves to be more distin- 
guished, and offers undoubted claims to the approbation 
and esteem of those who attach any importance to the 
study of man. Montaigne was the first who, guided by 
native genius, discarded the vain and fanciful theories of 
past ages, and substituted in their place the only true 
moral philosophy. It is true that most of his discoveries 
are weakened by an unsettled mode of reasoning, which 
would seem to spread an air of doubt and uncertainty 
over his essays, if we did not know that they formed a 
peculiar feature in his character. Thus his arguments 
were easily admitted, because they led to no positive 
conclusions. Since his time, our greatest moralists, not 
excepting La Rochefoucauld, have advanced only de- 
tached speculations, which present nothing determined 
in their result. Helvetius alone has examined their 
causes and fundamental principles. He has collected 
the loose observations, the scattered truths, and neglected 
inferences of others, and from their combination has 
established a body of evidence on the nature of man — 
the most simple, complete, and satisfactory, that has yet 
appeared. Some few errors in his statement of facts, 

HELVETIUS. [france. 

some unguarded positions and erroneous consequences, 
have afforded his adversaries a ground for attacking and 
even calumniating his doctrine. But it has been de- 
fended and explained by many illustrious writers, and 
experience still more strongly confirms it. Whatever 
opinion may be adopted as to the principles of Helvetius, 
we cannot deny him the praise of having, more forcibly 
than any preceding writer, demonstrated the influence of 
government over our moral system — and of having 
victoriously established the position so ridiculously cen- 
sured by the Sorbonne, that it is by good laws that men 
are rendered virtuous, 


Benjamin Jonson, or Johnson, was descended from 
a Scots family; his grandfather, who was well descended, 
being originally of Annandale, in that kingdom, whence 
he removed to Carlisle, and was afterwards employed in 
the service of King Henry the Eighth. His father lost 
his estate under Queen Mary, in whose reign he suffered 
imprisonment, and, at last, entered into holy orders, and 
died about a month before the birth of our poet, who was 
born in 1574. He was first educated at a private school, 
and afterwards removed to Westminster, where Camden 
was his master. His mother, who was again married to 
a bricklayer, compelled him to work at the trade of his 
step-father. But, as it may be easily credited, being 
soon disgusted with that employment, he went into the 
Low Countries, where he distinguished himself by his 
bravery, having, in the view of both armies, killed one of 
the enemy, and taken the " Opima Spolia," from him. 
Upon his return to his own country, he applied himself, 
with vigour, to his former studies, and is said to have 
been admitted of St. John's, Cambridge ; though his 
continuance there was short. His military spirit engaged 
him in a duel with a person, whom he killed, though his 
adversary was armed with a sword ten inches longer than 
his own. For this offence he was committed to prison, 
where, being visited by a Catholic priest, he became a 
convert to the Church of Rome, in which he continued 
twelve years, but was afterwards reconciled to that of 
England , Upon leaving the University he is said to have 
enrolled himself in an obscure play-house, called the 


Green Curtain, in Shoreditch or Clerkenwell, where his 
acting and his writing are supposed to have been equally 
unpromising. That he was an actor, and probably a 
strolling one, appears unquestionable from Decker's 
" Histriomastix," a play, published in 1602, and designed 
as a Reply to Jonson's " Poetaster.'' He is reproached 
with having left his occupation of a mortar-treader to 
turn actor ; and, with having " put up a supplication to 
be a poor journeyman player, in which he would have 
continued, but that he could not set a good face on it, 
and so was cashiered." 

The generosity of Shakspeare rescued him from this 
state of penury and disgrace ; for Jonson having offered 
one of his plays to the performers, unknown as he then 
was to the world, the persons into whose hands he con- 
signed it, were about to return it with the usual laconic 
answer, that it would be of no service to their company ; 
when Shakspeare fortunately cast his eye upon it, and 
was so pleased with it as to read it through, and recom- 
mend the author and his writings to the public. His 
first printed performance was, the Comedy entitled 
" Every Man in his Humour" acted in the year 1598. 
This, perhaps his first, certainly his best play, immediately 
established his reputation. It was one of the boldest 
comedies in any language — every sentence is stamped 
for sterling by the mintage of dramatic excellence. The 
characters are, however, all of them Shaksperian, from 
the tortured imagination of the jealous Kitely, to the 
slight insufficiency of Master Stephen ; but they are 
coloured with a skill so profound, that the copies are 
nearly as valuable as the original. His next performance 
was, his " Sejanus ; " but it is remarked that his Tragedies 
are distinguished by their artificial and inflated style, 
rather than by vigour of conception or pathetic details* 


The Sejanus was followed by Volpone; the Epicoene, or the 
Silent Woman; and the A Ichymist. The last was a bold 
and manly attempt to ridicule the prevailing notion of the 
possibility of transmuting metals into gold, which then dis- 
graced his time. Without extending our remarks through 
the long list of his dramatic performances, we may observe, 
that their principal mentis in the originality of their plots. 
Shakspeare's plots may be found in the one hundred 
novels of Cynthio ; those of Beaumont and Fletcher in 
Spanish stores — Jonson only made them for himself. 

He had now gained so high a reputation, that, in 
October, 1609, upon the death of Daniel, he was ap- 
pointed Poet-Laureat, and in the same year was appointed 
Master of Arts, at Oxford, having resided for some time 
at Christ's Church. He, however, incurred the King's 
displeasure, by writing, in conjunction with Chapman 
and Marston, a Play, called Eastward Hoe ; in which 
they were accused of reflecting upon the Scottish nation. 
In the reign of James this was a trivial offence, and the 
authors were in some danger of losing their noses and 
ears, the usual punishment for slight grievances in that 
arbitrary age. Upon the representation of Sir James 
Murray, they were committed to prison for some time. 
Upon being released, Jonson gave an entertainment to 
his friends, among whom were Camden and Selden. In 
the midst of the repast, it is reported, that his mother, 
who was still living, drank to him, and then shewed to 
him a paper containing poison, which, in the true spirit of 
a Roman matron, she had designed to mix with his food, 
after first taking a portion of it herself, if any disgraceful 
sentence of amputation had been passed upon him. 

He had never been conspicuous for economy in his 
domestic affairs; and often complained of being com- 


pelled to endure sickness aggravated by poverty. King 
James I. had always allowed him one hundred marks. 
On the accession of Charles, he addressed a petition to 
that prince, requesting, that as his royal father had 
granted him a pension of one hundred marks, he would 
make them pounds ; and when the King sent him that 
sum, he is said to have composed an epigram upon him. 
It is, on the other hand, related, that Charles sent him 
only ten guineas, and that the dying poet exclaimed, 
" the King has sent me ten guineas because I am poor 
and poorly lodged, but his heart is still more narrowly 
lodged." But he had a pension from the City of 
London, and from several of the nobility and gentry ; 
and, particularly, from Mr. Sutton, the founder of the 
Charter- House. It may be presumed, either that his 
TV ants were imaginary, and his poverty ideal ; or that his 
careless prodigality required more than common liberality 
to support him. In his last illness he felt severe com- 
punction for the frequent profanation of the Scriptures 
in his plays. 

He died on the 16th of August, 1637, and was buried 
in Westminster Abbey, where the singular simplicity 
and more than laconic brevity of his epitaph, are well 
known. He had many children, but none survived him. 

O' r 

Enaravedty G-eor^ Cooks. 



The celebrated conqueror, known in Europe generally 
by the name of Kouli Khan, bore at different periods 
various names, calling himself, at first Nadir Kouli — the 
Slave of God. He was born at Calot, a city in the pro- 
vince of Khorasan. Compelled by his uncle, at the 
death of his father, to quit the government, of which 
Calot was the capital, Nadir Kouli entered into the 
service of Beglerbeg, governor of Muschada, who ap- 
pointed him to command an army sent against the Tartars, 
over whom he gained a complete victory. The Beglerbeg 
at first treated Nadir with great distinction ; but being 
jealous of his aspiring disposition, he refused him the 
rank of lieutenant-general, which he had promised him ; 
and when Nadir complained of his breach of faith, he 
caused him to be severely bastinadoed. Exasperated at 
this ungrateful and dishonorable treatment, Nadir Kouli 
joined a band of robbers, and a little time after entered 
into the service of the Schah Tahmas, Sophy of Persia, 
who, attacked by the Afghans, the Turks, and the Mus- 
covites, was not in a state of such security as to neglect the 
succour of a guilty but intrepid warrior. Named general- 
issimo of the armies of the Schah Tahmas, in 1729, Nadir 
Kouli completely defeated the Afghans. After this 
victory, the monarch authorised his general to take the 
name of Thamas Kouli, or the Slave of Thamas. He was 
also ennobled with the title of Khan. Notwithstanding 
these distinctions, he was too ambitious to be contented 
with a subordinate rank. He dethroned Thamas, im- 
mured him in a narrow prison, and, joining policy with 


perfidy, caused one of the children of Thamas to be pro- 
claimed king, to whom he became regent. 

In 1735 he gained the battle of Erivan, in which the 
Turks lost 50,000 men. After this he assumed the royal 
title, and was acknowledged by the grandees of the 

The year following he took Candaha ; and in 1739 he 
conquered the Mogul empire, making himself master of 
Delhi, where he acquired immense riches. He then 
caused himself to be proclaimed Emperor of the Indies ; 
but disgraced himself by a general massacre of the 
inhabitants of Delhi, in revenge for an insult offered to 
some of his troops, in which there perished, according 
to some reports. 120,000 citizens, and 150,000 according 
to others. 

Loaded with the treasures of the Mogul, Nadir returned 
into Persia, where his cruelties and tyranny excited a 
general hatred against him; and a conspiracy being 
formed by some Persian officers, he was assassinated in 
his tent on the 8th of June, in the year 1747. 

Ali Kouli Khan, nephew of Nadir, and chief of the 
conspiracy, was immediately proclaimed king of Persia. 
He ordered, on the same day, nineteen princes of the 
blood royal to be destroyed, among whom were the three 
sons of Nadir. 

Zondm F/tfiltsM byVcrn r.Sbod i-SAarpereul 


A man named Zopyrus, says Cicero, in his Tusculana- 
rum 9 who pretended to judge of the character of persons 
by their physiognomy, seeing Socrates in an assembly, 
assured them that he united in his person innumerable 
vices. Those who heard this singular accusation could 
not refrain from laughter ; but the philosopher justified 
his assertion by saying, " He has not imposed upon you : 
these vices were in my composition, but reason delivered 
me from them.'' 

From this anecdote it is clear, that the science and 
system of physiognomy, which the labours of Lavater 
have rendered so celebrated in our days, were not unknown 
to the ancients ; but before his time moderns have flattered 
themselves with possessing a portion of his acute know- 
ledge. Julius Caesar Scaliger, so famous for his erudi- 
tion, his dissensions, and his pride, pretended he could 
discover the manners of men by the features of the face ; 
and his son assures us that he was never deceived in his 
judgment. Experience and reflection certainly prove 
that the emotions of the soul and the affections of the 
heart are observable in the eyes and countenance. If 
they be weak, they leave but fleeting or imperceptible 
traces; if violent and settled, they leave lasting and 
strong impressions, which time and change do not 
destroy. It must be allowed that these appearances are 
often deceitful. But if the science of physiognomy were 
not even more conjectural than that of physic, there 

LAVATER. [switz erland. 

would scarcely be any one of greater utility or im- 

John Gaspard Lavater, bom at Zurich, in 1741, com- 
posed a profound system, which only presents vague and 
uncertain conclusions. He imagined he had discovered 
the means of distinguishing characters, the difference of 
passions, and of intellect, by the simple inspection of the 
head. He went even so far as to draw inferences from 
the hand-writing. This doctrine was not confined to 
man — he extended it to the animal system. Is it possible 
to indicate the genius of a person by his physiognomy ? 
At this truth it is possible to arrive after a long course of 
observation. The faculties of the mind develope them- 
selves, and are disclosed by certain characteristical traits. 
Do we not often compare the busts of illustrious moderns 
with the portraits or the medals of distinguished person- 
ages of antiquity? In contemplating the statue of De- 
mosthenes, we read in his countenance those elevated 
projects — that generous inquietude which urged him to 
oppose the ambitious designs of Philip, that threatened 
the ruin of the liberties of Greece. The physiognomy of 
Voltaire, that surprising man, who combined such sin- 
gular talents with such malignity, w r ho was alternately 
sublime and facetious, announced, it is said, this wonder- 
ful contrast. It partook at once of the eagle and the ape* 
The forms of government and political occurrences im- 
press likewise on the face very singular appearances. If 
the studies and pursuits of men leave their traces on the 
physiognomy, is it not easy to imagine that a habit of 
baseness, of perfidy, or cruelty, may be discovered in a 
sensible manner, by those whose eyes are greatly pene- 
trating and frequently used. Do not painters act up to 
the idea? If they are to represent a Cain, a Nero, or a 
Caligula, do they not depicture the characters of those 
monsters by ferocity of aspect ? 


Lavater, to illustrate his doctrine, composed a book 
replete with genius and mystical enthusiasm, with novel 
descriptions, profound ideas, and brilliant errors. 

Even those who opposed his system with the greatest 
ingenuity, rendered ample justice to his prodigious ta- 
lent. Travellers of the greatest rank and discernment, 
and even those whose curiosity was simply excited on 
passing through Zurich, where this singular man, a 
minister of the holy gospel, resided, did not fail to visit 
him and testify their regard. He seduced them by an 
air of confidence and inspiration, and convinced them 
because he appeared himself to have been convinced. 
His eloquence had a character of pathetic majesty. 
When M. Necker quitted France, in 1789, he beheld 
Lavater at Zurich, and the Doctor immediately read in 
the countenance of the minister, all the vices, projects, 
and affections, of his great mind. The system of La- 
vater has been developed by Coxe, in his Letters on 
Switzerland, with considerable energy and effect. Ma- 
dame Roland, whose Memoirs appertain to the History 
of the Revolution in France, and its consequences, the 
most astonishing upon record, has made us acquainted 
with the moral character of this philosophical observer, 
in an account she has given us of her journey into Switzer- 
land. We are assured by a person who knew him inti- 
mately, that this ingenious divine was a devot, even to 
fanaticism. As pastor of the principal church of St. Peter, 
he was certainly distinguished for his unwearied zeal in 
behalf of practical Christanity. During the last troubles 
that devastated his country, he did not believe that the 
studies and the reputation he had acquired, should ex- 
onerate him from taking an active part in the public ca- 
lamity. Upon the entrance of the French troops into 
Zurich, under Massena, in 1799, Lavater received a 


wound, though in what manner it is not known, which 
caused him, during fifteen months, inexpressible pain. 
Notwithstanding his long and acute suffering, his mind 
retained all its vigour ; and he employed the remnant of 
his life in improving his work. He died in 1801, at the 
age of sixty* 

The system of Lavater produced, it is surmised, that 
of Dr. Gall, which has excited so much attention in Ger- 
many. His Cabinet of Medals was reckoned one of the 
finest collections in Switzerland. Beside his Treatise on 
Physiognomy, Lavater composed a volume of poems, 
and other works of some celebrity. 

^:7"«:, ? :■:■ 3im.vlf. 

Bnorai ? > ■• 

London: PubHskZ ~b\'Vemcrr,I[ood. & Shtvq>t,Toi(h/y 1S01. 


Gerard de Lairesse, born at Leige, in 1640, was 
the son of a painter of considerable repute, who destined 
him at first to the career of letters. To these studies, to 
which he joined the talent of poetry and music, and those 
noble and excellent ideas by which he was distinguished, 
the young Lairesse owed his excellence in another art. 
After receiving from his father, and from Berth olet, the 
first principles of painting, and studying in the works of 
the painters of his native country, the truth of colouring 
and charm of execution, he surpassed them by the cor- 
rectness of his design, the choice and elevation of his 
thoughts, and the dignity of his expression. He was, 
however, far from attaining the purity of the antique, 
and majestic severity of the Roman school ; but when it 
it is considered that he never visited Italy, and had no 
other assistance to form his taste than a few pictures of 
Poussin, the engravings after that master, and those of 
Pietro Testa, we cannot deny the superiority of his genius. 
Happy in his compositions, he finished them always with 
much delicacy and freedom of pencil. Every branch of 
his art was alike familiar to him, and with much propriety 
he was called the Poussin of France. But Lairesse tarnish- 
ed the brilliancy of his talents by a dissolute life. — He 
plunged into every species of excess and debauchery, 
which daily absorbed the fruit of his labour. After 
painting for some time pictures for dealers, who sold at 
an enormous rate to amateurs, what they procured at a 
moderate price, he enjoyed, in the end, all the advantages 
of his celebrity. But his sight, by degrees, became weak ; 
and, in 1690, it entirely left him. 


Compelled to renounce the practice of painting", he 
occupied himself in the theory of the art ; which consoled 
him under his misfortune. His children and friends col- 
lected his discoveries ; and, by the aid of different figures 
which he was enabled to trace upon canvas to facilitate 
a knowledge of his ideas, they formed a series of works, 
ornamented with plates, which they published after his 
death. His book is not deficient in merit ; but, with the 
exception of some chapters on the mechanism of his art, 
upon harmony and opposition of colouring, it offers but 
little real instruction : the author loses himself in idle 
dissertations. His allegorical programs are too compli- 
cated and multiplied. Lairesse painted at Leige, Utrech, 
and Amsterdam ; and finished his days in the last city, 
in 171 1, at the age of seventy-one. He had two brothers, 
and a nephew, who were painters ; and left three sons, 
who exercised the same talent : but they were inferior to 
himself. He engraved in aquafortis an excellent collec- 
tion of his compositions. His smaller pictures are the 
most esteemed. 



The praise of a writer is generally to be drawn from 
his works. Of Moliere it may be said, his best eulogy is 
from a comparison of the authors who preceded, and of 
those who followed him : so much superior is he to all. 
How many men of undoubted wit and talents have 
laboured in the same career without resembling him, or 
even approaching his eminence ! Some have possessed 
sufficient gaiety, others have been good poets, many have 
delineated manners with considerable facility and skill ; 
but the art of Moliere was the accurate knowledge of the 
human mind : this was the path which he opened, and 
which he closed behind him. No one has since attained 
an equal portion of celebrity. He was undoubtedly the 
first of moral philosophers. It was he who best understood 
the heart of man, without appearing to observe it ; this 
was a knowledge which he obtained rather from intuition 
than study. When we peruse his plays with attention 
and reflection, we are less astonished at his admirable 
penetration, than with the corresponding qualities or 
defects we feel in ourselves, and which ignorance or 
vanity had before concealed from our observation. His 
satire was profound and severe, not light and trivial ; it 
embraces every bearing of the vice or folly which he con- 
demns, leaving nothing to be added or supplied. The 
perusal of his comedies may answer the place of experi- 
ence, not from his exhibition of the fleeting manners of 
the day, but from his exquisite knowledge of man, in 
those essential characteristics in which he is steady and 


John-Baptist Pocquelin de Moliere was the son and 
grandson of tapestry-weavers attatched to the king's 
household. His father intending him for the same line 
of business, gave him a suitable education ; but he soon 
discovered an excessive attachment to the theatre. At 
fourteen he was placed in the Jesuits college, and his 
progress was unusually rapid and honourable to himself. 
The Belles-lettres improved his mind, while the precepts 
of Gassendi enlightened his understanding. His father 
becoming infirm, he was compelled to pursue the 
family trade under Lewis XIII. whom he followed in his 
journey to Narbonne in 1641. The French theatre was 
then beginning to emerge from barbarism and neglect, 
and to flourish under the great and fostering talents of 
Corneille. Pocquelin, destined to become among the 
French the founder of true legitimate comedy, no 
longer dissembled his decided preference for . the stage. 
He quitted his employment, and joined a society of 
young men like himself, devoted to theatrical pursuits. 
It was then that he assumed the sirname of Moliere, 
either from regard to his family, or in compliance with 
a custom which generally prevailed among the actors. 
A similarity of taste and sentiments occasioned his union 
with La Bejart, a provincial actress. They formed a 
company, which first began to perform at Lyons, 1653, 
with the Etourdi, written by Moliere himself, and his 
original essay. The genuine wit of the dialogue, the 
inexhaustible address of the valet in repairing the 
blunders of his master, and the interest occasioned by 
this perpetual contrast, procured the piece considerable 
success, notwithstanding its numerous defects. Moliere, 
equally great as author and actor, united every suffrage. 
At that period, people were accustomed only to pieces 
of the most immoral or insignificant tendency, and de- 
based by low and improbable intrigues. The art of 


exhibiting on the national stage characters and manners 
taken from real life, was reserved for Moliere. The 
applause which he received on the representation of the 
JEtourdi, followed him to Beziers, where the Prince of 
Conti then presided at the assembly held for the pro- 
vince of Languedoc. He received Moliere as his friend 
and companion, and even offered to make him his secre- 
tary ; but the poet declined the honour, declaring " that 
though a tolerable author, he would probably make but 
an indifferent secretary." The Depit Amour eux and the 
Precieuses Ridicules, next appeared on the theatre of 
Beziers. The succession of incidents is equally well pre- 
served in the Depit Amoureux as in the Etourdi. In 
the dialogue we discover the same rich fund of humour, 
and the repartees are alike ingenious and laughable ; but 
the nodus or intrigue is too complicated, and the denoue- 
ment destitute of probability. In the Precieuses Ridi- 
cules, there is more simplicity and truth in the design : 
a keen and delicate satire on the rage for the Bel Esprit, 
which then prevailed ; on the stiff and swelling diction 
of the romances in vogue ; the ridiculous pedantry 
among the women, and the affectation universally 
observable in their language, their sentiments, and their 
dress, distinguishes this piece from the preceding ones, 
and marks at once the talent of Moliere. When repre- 
sented at Paris, it produced a general alteration of man- 
ners. The spectators laughed at their former follies, and 
while they applauded the author, reformed themselves. 
Menage, who assisted at its first representation, said to 
Chapelain, " You and I were accustomed to applaud the 
follies which have just been exposed to ridicule with so 
much good sense and ingenuity." An old man exclaimed 
from the pit, " Courage, Moliere, this is legitimate 
comedy !" Louis XIV. was so pleased with the pieces 
exhibited by the company of Moliere, that he permitted 


them to call themselves 6 the King's Comedians,' and 
bestowed on their leader a pension of 1000 livres. 

The Cocu Imaginaire, adapted rather for the gratifica- 
tion of the people, than to the taste of more refined 
auditors, next appeared in 1660. The genius of Moliere 
may be discovered occasionally in this piece, but it 
exposed him to all the severity of the critics, who were 
however little attended to by the public at large. 
X' Ecole des Maris, taken from the Adelphi of Terence, 
but superior to the original, presents a denouement natural 
in itself, incidents developed with art, and great simplicity 
in the intrigue. While the theatre yet resounded with 
the applause which it so justly merited, the Facheux, a 
piece conceived, written, studied, and represented in 
the space of a fortnight, was played at Vaux, a house 
belonging to Fouquet, the celebrated superintendant of 
the finances, in the presence of the king and court. 
The scenes of this little comedy are by no means suffi- 
ciently connected ; but the attention of the spectator is 
kept alive by the variety in the characters, the spirit of 
its dialogue, and the elegance of its language. The 
improved talent of Moliere next displayed itself in V Ecole 
des Femmes, represented the following year. Some neg- 
ligences in the style excited the censures of the critics, 
and they overlooked the exquisite art which prevails 
throughout the inimitable character of Agnes, and the 
rapid and natural succession of incidents. Moliere 
replied to this decision by an ingenious critique on his 
own performance, and completely refuted the unjust cavils 
it had occasioned. His talents now deserved and 
obtained great rewards. The king, who uniformly con- 
sidered him as the founder of a new species of literature 
in France, and an useful reformer of vice and folly, 
placed him on the same footing with the numerous other 


authors who flourished by his bounty. Moliere, in- 
fluenced by a lively sense of this monarch's munificence, 
soon produced the Impromptu de Versailles, and the 
Princesse oV Elide, a spectacle composed on purpose to 
add splendour to the fete given by the king to the reign- 
ing queen, the queen dowager, and queen Henrietta of 
England, the widow of the unfortunate Charles. But 
the Princesse oV Elide, when divested of the superb deco- 
rations and the brilliant audience of Versailles, was less 
favorably received at Paris. The Marriage Force, another 
piece of the same description, met with a similar fate. 
The Festin de Pierre did not meet with better success; 
some expressions of a nature bordering on impiety, in 
some degree injured the reputation of Moliere, and he 
withdrew the piece after it had been twice represented. 
E Amour Medecin was another hasty production, upon 
which it would be unjust to reflect any great degree of 
censure. But it is observable that it was the first in 
which he began to ridicule the faculty. 

But the greater part of the high reputation he has 
acquired, is derived from the Misanthrope, an admirable 
play, little applauded at first through ignorance or envy, 
but now considered as one of the first in the ancient or 
modern drama. It must be admitted, however, that it 
is more generally admired in the closet than on the stage. 
" The little interest excited in the public," says Voltaire, 
" by the representation of the Misanthrope, may probably 
be thus accounted for : that the plot, though accom- 
panied by innumerable beauties of detail, is not in itself 
sufficiently diversified; the conversations, however in- 
genious and instructive, not being properly connected, 
rather weaken than support the action ; and the denou- 
ment, though wisely planned and naturally deduced, is 
in consequence coldly received. The satire of the 


Misanthrope is perhaps more keen and delicate than 
that of Horace or Boileau ; but as a comedy, it is un- 
doubtedly less interesting- than the Tartuffe, which, com- 
bining the satire and the elegance of style peculiar to 
the former, excites a more lively sensation." The suffrage, 
however, of every man of taste, consoled Moliere for the 
indifference of the multitude. To regain their applause, 
he wrote the Medecin Malgrelui, in 1666, sufficiently 
gay and farcical to retrieve his reputation for humour 
and spirit. The Sicilien, or V Amour Peintre, is still seen 
with pleasure, as it contains a sort of graceful gallantry, 
less effeminate than in many other similar productions. 
But the reputation of Moliere now attained its climax, 
by the appearance of Tartuffe or V Imposteur. Its repre- 
sentation was at first prohibited; the many priests and 
devotees who knew that it was written expressly to 
expose them and their hypocrisy, had obtained the order 
from the king. At the representation of a farce called 
Scaramouche Hermite, infinitely more satirical, and even 
licentious in its tendency, the king said to the great 
Conde, " I should be glad to know why those people who 
pretend to be scandalized at the performance of Moliere's 
play, say nothing against Scaramouche." " Sir,"' answered 
the prince, " Scaramouche only offends God, but Moliere 
attacks the priests." At length, in spite of the innumer- 
able intrigues to prevent its representation, it was per- 
formed with inconceivable applause. No where was 
hypocrisy more completely unveiled, characters more 
ingeniously drawn, or dialogue written with more nature 
and truth. In 1668 he produced Amphitryon, imitated 
from Plautus, and superior to its model, but in which he 
has evinced less attention to propriety of language than 
in his former plays. L'Avare, another copy from the 
same poet, is rather outre in its principal character ; but 
it must be confessed to be admirably calculated for the 


amusement of the lower orders, who require satire to be 
bold and strongly marked. George Dandin, Pourceaugnac, 
le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, and the Fourberies de Scapin, 
are of the same class — extremely diverting, but coarsely 
drawn, Moliere gave himself more time in the composi- 
tion of the Femmes Savantes, in which he ingeniously 
satirized the ridiculous affectation and pedantic erudition 
of the Hotel de Rambouillet. The incidents in this play, 
as in most of his others, are not sufficiently connected ; 
but the plot, though barren in itself, presents some amus- 
ing situations. The scene of Trissotin and Vadius, was 
taken from a real dispute which occurred between Cotin 
and Menage. The Malade Irnaginaire is a play of a dif- 
ferent description ; but it exposes, with the usual sagacity 
and ingenuity of Moliere, the pedantary and quackery of 
the medical tribe. It will be chiefly remembered, how- 
ever, as the last production of this illustrious man, during 
the representation of which, he was seized with the illness 
of which he died. He had been indisposed for some time ; 
and his friends in vain exhorted him to repose himself — 
" But what," said he, "will become of so many poor 
workmen ? I should for ever reproach myself for having 
missed one day in procuring them bread !" The exertions 
he made while performing himself the Malade Irnagi- 
naire, overpowered him, and a convulsion seized him on 
the stage. It was remarked, that as he pronounced the 
woi'd juro, his countenance changed, and the blood im- 
mediately issuing from his mouth, suffocated him a few 
hours after, on the 17th February, 1673, in his 54th year. 
The archbishop of Paris at first refused to permit his 
body to be interred in consecrated ground — an illiberal 
and unjust prejudice against comedians, which prevailed 
even in the last century. The wife of Moliere exclaimed, 
" they refuse a tomb to a man to whom Greece would 
have erected altars !" The king, at length, desired the 


prelate to retract his prohibition, and the body was 
interred in the church of St. Joseph. The populace was 
with difficulty prevented from disturbing the ceremony 
of the funeral. 

As an actor, though respectable, his talents were not 
so conspicuous as in his writings. In his person, he was 
tall — of a dark complexion, and his countenance was 
capable of every expression he chose to give it. He was 
not calculated for tragedy, and in vain endeavoured to 
surmount his many deficiences. His voice was low and 
thick, and possessing little flexibility, forced him to con- 
fine himself to comedy, in which he contrived to make 
his defects serviceable to him. He not only pleased in 
the parts of Mascarille and Sganarelle, but excelled in 
those of Arnolphe, Orgon, Harpagon, &c. It was in those 
characters that, by the intelligence, his accurate concep- 
tion and strength of colouring which he displayed, he 
often so deceived the spectators as to render them unable 
to distinguish between the comedian and the personage 
he represented. He therefore, in general, selected for 
himself the longest and most difficult parts. 

In private life he was highly and deservedly esteemed. 
His country-house, at Auteuil, was the resort of all the 
wits of his age. By them he was respected as a man of 
genius, and beloved for the mildness and liberality of his 
disposition. The Marechal de Vivonne lived with him 
in all that intimacy which places genius and talents on 
a level with affluence and rank. The great Conde often 
required his visits ; and would acknowledge, that from 
his conversation he always derived something new. His 
merit, as a writer, was universally allowed by the men of 
genius, of all classes, who adorned that fertile age. When 
Louis XIV. once asked Racine whom he conceived to be 


the first of the authors who had illustrated his reign, he 
instantly replied, Moliere. — " I should not have thought 
so," said the king, " but you are a better judge than I 
am." So many marks of distinction corrupted neither 
his heart nor his mind — he was mild, compassionate, and 
generous. The instances of his liberality are innumerable, 
and have been too often related to require insertion here. 
But we may be allowed to repeat one anecdote of his 
benevolence not so generally known. He was one day at 
his country-house, with Baron, afterwards so celebrated 
as an actor, who told him that he wished to introduce an 
indigent performer of the name of Mondorge. " Oh ! " 
said Moliere, " I know him well. He was my companion 
in Languedoc, and is a very honest fellow. What shall 
we give him ?" " Suppose four Louis," said Baron, after 
some hesitation. " Well," replied Moliere, " I will give 
him the four Louis, as from myself. There are twenty 
more lying on the table — you shall bestow them, as 
coming from you." Mondorge was introduced — Moliere 
affectionately embraced him — said all he could to console 
him in his distress — and, to the very liberal present 
which he had already made him, added that of a mag- 
nificent theatrical dress to appear in on the stage. 

Moliere, who contributed so largely to the amusement of 
others, was himself the sport and prey of domestic misfor- 
tune and misery. When he originally formed his company 
of actors, he connected himself, (as we have already said,) 
with La Bejart, a provincial actress of some celebrity. She 
had a daughter, the issue of a private marriage with M. de 
Modene, a gentleman of Avignon. In vain did the mother, 
as the reputation of Moliere increased, press him to give a 
legal sanction to their union. The younger charms of the 
daughter had captivated his heart ; and in spite of the 
resistance of La Bejart, the marriage took place. Those 


who knew the long and intimate connection that had sub- 
sisted between La Bejart and him, accused him of inces- 
tuously marrying his own daughter. But the calumny- 
was easily refuted, by irrefragable proofs that she was 
born before Moliere became acquainted with her mother. 
The marriage, however, was highly imprudent, and was 
to him a source of perpetual inquietude. La Bejart, a 
haughty intriguing woman, who preferred being even the 
mistress than the mother-in-law of Moliere, by her extra- 
vagant jealousy of her daughter, and the continual disputes 
which it occasioned, disturbed his peace of mind, and 
embittered his days. The daughter, who was so much 
indebted to his love for her, and had deceived him by a 
false shew of gratitude and fondness, no sooner became 
his wife, than she displayed all the extravagance and 
caprice of a coquette. She exhibited herself to the 
court and city in all the splendour of dress and equipage 
— while the unfortunate husband, whose philosophy had 
not taught him to live without a wife, was a prey to 
jealousy and disappointed love. She neglected or dis- 
dained to sooth either one or the other — prayers, intrea- 
ties, and remonstrances were in vain — till, despairing 
of success, he gave himself up to the enjoyment of his 
closet, and the society of his friends. He thus added 
to the list of unhappy husbands ; and, if his pen, in 
describing the errors and frailties of the sex, has such a 
glow of nature and truth, it was because a living model 
of vexation was in his own house. After his death, she 
again married an obscure comedian, named Le Grand. 
She retained no respect for the memory of her illustrious 
husband ; and was so careless of his manuscripts, that 
none of them have been preserved. This culpable indif- 
ference extended even to a daughter who was the fruit 
of this inauspicious union ; and who, neglected by her 
parent, eloped from her at a very early age, and lived and 
died in obscurity. 


Moliere had studied and even translated Lucretius, 
and would have published his translation ; but an unfor- 
tunate accident deprived the world of a work, which pro- 
bably would have still increased his fame. A valet, whom 
he had ordered to curl his wig, made use of the papers 
which contained his translation. Moliere, whose anger 
was easily raised, threw the whole into the fire. Thus, it 
is said, Montesquieu and Fenelon lost two considerable 
works, by the carelessness of their servants. As he ad- 
vanced in the version, Moliere was accustomed to consult 
Rohault, a celebrated metaphysician. As a proof of his 
good sense, he had translated into prose all the philoso- 
phical matter of the poem, and reserved only for poetiy 
those beautiful descriptions with which Lucretius abounds. 

He always evinced himself the early protector and 
liberal encourager of merit. A young man had written a 
tragedy, entitled, Theagene et Chariclee, and presented it 
to Moliere, who soon discovered that it was good for 
nothing, but rewarded him as he would have done had the 
play been good. Some time after, he himself conceived the 
plan of the FreresEnnemis; and, sending for the young man, 
gave him the most ample instructions, and desired him, 
if possible, to bring an act every week . The youth obeyed ; 
but when he produced his manuscript, Moliere imme- 
diately perceived that he had borrowed nearly the whole 
from the Thebdide of Rotrou. Moliere mildly convinced 
him of the impropriety of engrossing the labours of ano- 
ther, and the impolicy of taking from a tragedy sufficiently 
recent to be in the perfect recollection of the audience : 
he even assisted him in planning the necessary alterations. 
The piece was then successful. But Racine (for the 
youthful poet was no other than that celebrated man) 
gradually neglected his benefactor ; and Moliere did not 
attempt to reclaim him. He does not appear to have 
had much esteem for Racine. He had been promised the 


representation of Berenice, and had even announced it 
at his theatre, when it was abruptly withdrawn, and given 
to the other house. The character of Moliere was as 
open and candid as that of Racine was gloomy and in- 
sincere. Their disputes, however, were merely personal, 
and did not affect the high opinion they had of each other 
as writers. When Racine was told that the Misanthrope 
had been coldly received, he maintained that Moliere 
could not possibly write a bad play, and that the fault lay 
with the audience ; and when Moliere beheld the failure 
of les Plaideurs, he publicly said that the piece was 
excellent, and that those who had ridiculed it, deserved 
themselves to be the objects of ridicule. 

Such was Moliere. As a dramatic poet, his works may 
be considered as the history of the manners, the morals, 
and the tastes, of the age in which he lived. Possessing 
a mind early inured to meditation, and prompt to seize the 
exterior expression of passions, and their effects in the 
various walks of life — he exhibited mankind as it really 
was, and exposed the most secret recesses in the hearts of 
men, their sentiments and desires. His plays are as 
admirable in the closet as on the stage — the more they 
are studied, the more they will be relished. He is pecu- 
liarly the author best adapted for the perusal of men in 
the meridian, or in the decline of life. His observations 
will always be justified by their own experience, and their 
recollection of the passions or the follies of which they 
have been the sport or the victim, will confirm the inspi- 
rations of his genius. It has long been a complaint among 
our neighbours, that few have since ventured to pursue 
the steps of Moliere. The truth is, he has so engrossed 
every passion or folly of which satire can be the subject, 
that he has left little undone for his successors in the 
drama. It is fortunate for them if, in other departments, 
they can partake any portion of his glory. 

Drawn brJtafa'a 

Fngrava h £.Ceel\ 

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Charles de Secondat, Baron of La Brede and 
Montesquieu, was born at La Brede, near Bourdeaux, 
the 18th of January, 1689, of a noble family in Guyenne. 
His father had early quitted the service, in which he had 
frequently distinguished himself, and devoted all his 
attention to the education of his son, from whose happy 
disposition he formed the most flattering expectations. 
At an age when the mind is willing to embrace every 
science, but too frequently grasps at all, without attach- 
ing itself to any particular one, the study of jurispru- 
dence appears to have exclusively occupied the attention 
of Montesquieu. It might then be foreseen that this 
would become the principal study of his life ; and it was 
not difficult to prognosticate the future author of the 
Spirit of Laws. To genius seems to belong the peculiar 
property of directing all its vigour and energy to a single 
point; while those of ordinary minds are divided and 
weakened by the attempt to grasp at every attainment, 
without the power of excelling in any. Thus had so 
many great men distinguished themselves in one career, 
in that illustrious age, of which Montesquieu was des- 
tined to see the end. That happy period seemed to have 
exhausted all the triumphs of literature, and probably 
induced him to direct his thoughts to the study of law : a 
matter undoubtedly of sufficient novelty, if considered in 
a philosophical point of view. He had already made 
ample extracts from the numerous volumes which com- 
pose the civil code ; but willing to adhere to the peculiar 
course of the magistracy, he was admitted a counsellor 

MONTESQUIEU. [phance. 

in the parliament of Bourdeaux. In 1716, a paternal 
uncle, who was one of the presidents, a mortier, — (thus 
denominated from the resemblance of the caps they wore 
to the shape of a mortar,) voluntarily resigned over to 
him his estate and his place. That he was not unworthy 
of this high distinction appeared some years after, when 
being deputed by his company to present a remonstrance 
to the king, on the creation of a new impost, he executed 
his commission with equal dignity and success, and dis- 
played all the frankness of a citizen, without offending 
the court. 

When only twenty, he had already prepared materials 
for his great work, by copious extracts from the volumin- 
ous tracts which compose the system of civil law. Hia 
modesty, however, prevented him from exposing himself 
too soon to the public eye ; and he had attained the age 
of thirty-two before he published the Persian Letters, his, 
first literary attempt — bearing perhaps in mind the maxim 
of Horace — • 

Si quid tamen ojim 
Scripsepis in Metii discendat judicis aures, 
Et Patris, et nostras— nonumque prematur in annum — 

A rule, which may be applied to every species of author- 
ship as well as poetry. In 1721, appeared his Persian 
Letters, an imitation of theSianeese Letters of Duperny j 
but, says Voltaire, imitated in a manner which shewed 
how the originals ought to have been written. The success 
of this work exceeded all former examples. The very 
title was sufficient to procure the sale of the most wretched 
productions. The booksellers of the time sent perpetu- 
ally, requesting the author to furnish them with Persian 
Letters. The French Academy, so often exposed to the 
satire of writers, but always the great object of their 


desires and their ambition, hastened to invite Montesquieu 
to become one of its members. It generously overlooked 
a few occasional strokes in the Letters directed against 
itself. But his reception was for some time obstructed 
by the old Cardinal de Fleury, whose timid conscience 
had been alarmed by the representation of some 
passages, in which religion and government were not 
sufficiently respected. According to Voltaire, Montes- 
quieu caused a new edition to be prepared, in whicli 
these obnoxious passages were omitted; and that he 
presented a copy to the cardinal, who perused it, and 
immediately consented to his admission. But this 
anecdote is very improbable ; it is more reasonable to 
suppose, that some powerful friends succeeded in removing 
the cardinal's scruples. He soon after sold his situation 
of president a mortier, with a view of travelling into 
other countries. 

His travels were planned and executed with his usual 
spirit of prudence and reflection. His intention in 
leaving his own country, was to study the laws, constitu- 
tions, and manners, of others, — to see and converse with 
the learned, the polite, and the ingenious artists of each. 
For this purpose he waited till reading had informed his 
mind, and reflection had matured his judgment. He did 
not quit France till he had attained a middle age, and 
till his name was known and respected. After visiting 
Germany, Hungary, Italy, Switzerland, and Holland, 
he came to England. But he arrived too late; for 
Locke and Newton, the only men worthy to be associated 
with him, were dead. He was, however, soon distin- 
guished by the Queen of England, the celebrated 
Caroline, who cultivated the sciences, and had long been 
in correspondence with the most learned men of her 

MONTESQUIEU. [france. 

On his return from his travels, he finished his Con- 
siderations on the Causes of the Greatness and Decline of 
the Romans. — These Causes were already to be found in 
history — it was reserved for philosophy to develope them. 
Montesquieu has exposed them with that sagacity and 
energetic precision peculiar to himself. The works of 
the ancients did not furnish him with all the materials 
necessary to form a complete picture of the rapid aggran- 
dizement and progressive decline which the history of 
the Roman empire presented ; but, like a skilful archi* 
tect, who, from a heap of ruins, may trace the plan of an 
ancient edifice, he supplied by his genius and his saga- 
city what was wanting in the confused and scanty 
documents before him. A small volume embraces a 
history, the greatest and most interesting that can be 
conceived. " While he discloses much," says d'Alembert, 
" he leaves still more to the reflection and judgment of 
his readers : and he might have entitled his book The 
Roman History, for the Use of Statesmen and Philosophers. .'» 
At length, after a labour of many years, during which, 
as he often acknowledged, he felt his strength and his 
resolution often fail him, he presented to the world 
his Spirit of Laws, — the glory of French literature. 
" Humanity," says Voltaire, " had lost all recollection of 
its rights : Montesquieu discovered and restored them." 
But the success of this elaborate and original perform- 
ance could not be supj)osed ever to equal that of the 
Persian Letters. Its merit was known and felt only by a 
small literary circle ; few were disposed to read — fewer 
still could comprehend it ; and the ignorant and the idle 
revenged themselves by epigrams and satire. The lively 
and satirical remark of Madame de Defiant has been 
too frequently cited, c'est de V esprit sur les loix. But 
neither these light attacks, nor the heavy criticisms of 
professed reviewers, could long delay the celebrity of a 

vrance.] MONTESQUIEU. 

book, which assumed, among the French themselves, 
that rank in literature which other nations had from the 
first assigned it. The previous reading necessary for 
such a work must have been immense, yet its author was 
nearly deprived of sight, and was compelled to have 
recourse to the assistance of others. His favourite writers 
were Plutarch, and above all Tacitus, between whom 
and himself there was a singular coincidence of style — 
the same energy, precision, and sometimes obscurity of 
diction. Of Tacitus, Montesquieu was accustomed to 
say, he abridged every thing, because he saw every thing ; 
and by thus describing the genius of Tacitus, he has 
exactly defined his own. To this undoubtedly we must 
attribute that want of method and connection, which is 
too apparent in the Spirit of Laws — that seeming care- 
lessness, which left to the sagacity and intelligence of 
the reader the task of connecting remarks, too often 
broken and dissimilar, by compelling him to supply 
those intermediate ideas, which the rapid and extensive 
genius of the author saw and passed over. 

When Montesquieu published his Temple of Gnidus, 
he probably intended to show that the same hand which 
inscribed the History of Nations, the Revolutions of 
Empires, and the Spirit of Laws and Manners, could 
also sketch the lighter scenes of love and pleasure. In 
fact, its only merit consists in its having been written by 
the author of the Spirit of Laws and the Considerations 
on the Romans. A thousand empty and superficial minds 
could have better succeeded in this gallant but futile style 
of composition, than the robust genius of Montesquieu ; 
he was too much constrained by the trifling nature of 
his subject. " It is," says La Harpe, " like an eagle 
struggling in a cage.'' Of the romance of Arsace we 
shall say nothing. 


Montesquieu, after residing many years at his seat of 
La Brede, fully occupied by his important labours, went 
to Paris. A residence in that capital seems to have been 
fatal to many illustrious men, who, after having been long 
at a distance from it, are tempted to enjoy the fruits of 
their celebrity. Objects of general admiration, over- 
powered by the effusions of excessive and indiscreet 
applause, they sometimes experience, in the triumph of 
their vanity, sensations too exquisite for long duration* 
Montesquieu died at Paris, on the 10th of February^ 
1755, in his sixty-seventh year, far from his family and 
relatives ; but surrounded, and deeply regretted, by the 
learned and illustrious of that metropolis. The king 
made repeated inquiries after his health, and his house 
was never for a moment free from a crowd of friends and 
admirers, who anxiously waited the event of his long and 
tedious illness. He died with the calm intrepidity of an 
honest man, who had so long devoted his talents, his 
time, and his fortune, to the instruction, the improve^ 
ment, and the well-being of his fellow-creatures. 

Though subject to frequent absence of mind, he was 
lively and cheerful in society; his conversation, abounding 
in wit and keenness of remark, was not inferior to his 
writings. His expenses were regulated by a wise 
economy, a certain portion of his income being always 
reserved for charity, and the numerous acts of benevolence 
which his death alone revealed. An anecdote, which is 
related of him, has been made the subject of a drama, 
under the title of the Bienfait Anonyme. Montesquieu, 
when at Marseilles, and sailing round the port in a boat, 
Was struck with the melancholy air of the man who 
conducted him. Inquiring into the cause of so much 
dejection, the boatman informed him that his father had 
been taken by pirates, confined in Algiers, and that he 


was then struggling to gain money sufficient to ransom 
him. On the same day, to the inexpressible astonish- 
ment of the young boatman, the money that was required 
for his pious purpose was paid into his hands, by persons 
unknown to him. He made many useless attempts to 
discover his benefactor ; who was not discovered till after 
the death of Montesquieu, when, on the inspection of a 
paper, where an account of his disbursements was found, 
he proved to be the beneficent donor. 

The unaffected modesty of this illustrious man would 
not permit any painting or bust to be taken of him : his 
aversion to any such exhibition of himself was Jong 
insurmountable. At length, Dassier, a celebrated 
medallist, went from London to Paris, to endeavour to 
procure a likeness of the great author of the Spirit of 
Laws. M. de Montesquieu, unwilling to spare the 
necessary time for the purpose, constantly resisted the 
pressing solicitations of the artist, till Dassier, after 
employing many arguments in vain, said to him, " Do 
you not think that there is greater vanity in refusing 
my request, than there would be in acceding to it?'* 
This shrewd question disarmed the sage, and he submitted 
to be drawn. 

The death of Montesquieu was considered as a general 
calamity, and excited the regret of other countries as well 
as his own. The striking observation of Tacitus, in the 
death of Agricola, might be applied to him : — Finis vile 
nobis luctuosus, Patrise tristis extraneis etiam ignotisque 
non sine curd fuit. The Earl of Chesterfield himself 
announced the death of this illustrious Frenchman, in 
the Evening Post : — " On the 10th of this month, died at 
Paris, universally and sincerely regretted, Charles de 
Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu, and President a mortier 

MONTESQUIEU. [france. 

of the Parliament of Bourdeaux. His virtues did honor 
to human nature, his writings to justice. A friend to 
mankind, he asserted their undoubted and unalienable 
rights with freedom, even in his own country, whose 
prejudices, in matters of religion and government, he 
had long lamented, and endeavoured, not without some 
success, to remove. He well knew and justly admired 
the happy constitution of this country, where fixed and 
known laws equally restrain monarchy from tyranny, and 
freedom from licentiousness. His works will illustrate 
his name, and survive him as long as right reason, 
moral obligation, and the true spirit of laws, shall be 
understood, respected, and maintained.'' 

^ „ 


" ■ 


Posterity judges of authors by their best produc- 
tions, and discovers little curiosity respecting- the number 
of their writings. The subject of this memoir would have 
held but a secondary rank in literature, had he only 
composed some tales in verse, which, though they have 
considerable point, are dryly related ; some comedies, not 
above mediocrity ; and two tragedies, Callisthenes and 
Gustavus, in which a few happy passages, and some 
interesting situations, do not compensate for an habitual 
harshness of style. One comedy alone, the Metromania, 
a chef-d'oeuvre in its kind, has placed him among the 
few who have succeeded best in that career which the 
celebrity and excellence of Moliere have rendered so 

Dijon, a city which has produced several illustrious 
men, also gave birth to Piron, in 1689. Some family 
misfortunes compelled him to seek in Paris a relief against 
poverty. He there experienced all those disappoint- 
ments, all that bitterness of want, with which merit is 
so often assailed, when destitute of protection ; and he 
who was one day to enrich the French stage by one 
immortal production, would have been exposed to the 
utmost distress, had he not found a temporary resource 
in the humble occupation of a copyist, in which he 
excelled by the beauty of his writing. But better times 
soon opened to view. His Metromania, which appeared 
in 1738, secured his reputation. This ingenious com- 
position combines, in a very high degree, an animated 


dialogue, wit, and a fund of humour truly original. One 
cannot but admire the masterly manner in which he 
has drawn the character of the Poet, which, though 
abounding in eccentricity and whim, is throughout manly 
and interesting. It presented to every man of letters 
the useful lesson not to degrade his profession by 
becoming the apologist of supercilious ignorance. 

The protection of some powerful friends, a pension in 
the Mercure de France, and a fortunate marriage, at 
length placed him in a state of respectability and comfort. 
Without any affectation of philosophy, Piron had that 
moderation in his desires, and in his habits, which 
constitutes the true philosopher. 

His gaiety, his bon mots, the inexhaustible sallies of 
his wit, procured him in every society a high reputation, 
independent of his literary character. There are few 
persons who do not recollect some of his lively and 
pointed sayings. But with all this, he was in truth rather 
satirical than malignant; and the keenest epigrams which 
he uttered, or composed, were generally in his own 
defence. His principal ambition was to amuse his 
friends. He possessed, in his own character, much of 
that elevation and spirit which he has given to his Poet 
in the Metromania. If his many excellent qualities 
were obscured by any particular defect, it was perhaps by 
too exalted an opinion of his own merit. It is well known 
that the high celebrity of Voltaire was extremely irksome 
to him ; and whenever that reflection was obtruded on his 
mind, it appeared to lose much of its usual sagacity. 
Thus, when he called his Gustavus the only remaining 
tragedy of the age, he, who was in general so prompt 
and so happy in pointing out others as objects of ridicule* 
did not consider how much he exposed himself to the 


sarcasm of his enemies. It must be confessed, however, 
that his dislike to the first poet of the age was avowed 
and sincere. Voltaire never considered Piron as a 
despicable antagonist. That warm and irritable genius, 
whose vengeance never failed to pursue the daring critic 
who refused to subscribe to his renown, always evinced 
a degree of respect for Piron, and with a forbearance 
which certainly had not its origin in contempt, never 
appeared to notice his multiplied attacks. 

We do not mean to speak with too much severity of 
Piron, in asserting that he deserves some censure for his 
numerous epigrams on the French academy. Though 
they are for the most part pointed and ingenious, it 
cannot be denied that all the crime of that illustrious 
body was the refusal to admit him among its members. 
The reason of this refusal is too well known. While 
therefore, from respect to the author of the Metromania, 
we omit even the name of the pernicious and immoral 
publication which excited the animadversion of the 
academicians, we cannot but applaud them for sacrificing 
to a sense of propriety, their earnest desire to enrol 
among their numbers, so celebrated a man. 

Piron had always been extremely short-sighted, and 
towards the close of his life became entirely blind — a 
privation which he bore with fortitude and resignation. 
It has been generally supposed that he evinced, on his 
death-bed, a reverence for religion, for which, when in 
health, he had not been remarkable. Perhaps the painful 
recollection of the disappointments he had experienced 
in consequence of the licentious production of his youth, 
and which he had in vain endeavoured to consign to 
oblivion, had a decided and useful influence in his last 
moments. And we may venture to add, that if he did 


display sentiments of piety and contrition, they were 
sincere: for of all the vices which afflict and degrade 
humanity, none were more absolutely foreign to the 
character of Piron, than hypocrisy and dissimulation. 

He died at Paris, in 1773, in his 85th year. 


s JM 


As this woman, who ought never, perhaps, to have 
quitted the obscurity in which she was born, has acted so 
considerable a part on the theatre of the world, and 
exercised such influence over the government of a power- 
ful monarchy, her name must necessarily be found among 
those personages whom history is bound to record. 

Jane-Antonietta Poisson, so celebrated under the name 
of the Marchioness of Pompadour, born about the year 
1720, was the granddaughter of the comedian Poisson. 
She owed her birth to the illicit connection of her mother 
with a farmer of the village of La Ferte-sous-jouare, who 
gained a precarious subsistence by selling corn to the con- 
tractors, and at that time had been compelled to abscond 
on suspicion of mal-practices . Such was the obscure and 
dishonorable origin of a woman, who was destined to 
become the mistress of France, to dispense at her plea- 
sure, honors and riches, and to retain the most uncon- 
troled authority for almost twenty years. But her 
mother, an ambitious intriguing woman, who lived with 
Le Normand-Tournehem, a rich farmer-general, omitted 
no opportunity of producing her to the world, with the 
greatest advantages. Notwithstanding the vices of her 
parent, she was well educated ; was modest, amiable, and 
accomplished ; with lively talents and a benevolent heart. 
To enable her to appear at court, she was hastily married 
to Le Normand d'Etioles, who, after the advencement of 
his wife, was compelled to retire to a province, and live 
on the wages of his dishonor. The mother had long 

MAD. DE POMPADOUR. [prance, 

formed the project of rendering- her daughter the object 
of the king's attachment, and seized every occasion to 
expose her to his notice. Madame d'Etioles herself 
appeared very early to have conceived the same ambitious 
design of captivating the heart of Louis XV. then unoc- 
cupied, since the death of Madame de Chateauroux. 
"I was," says Voltaire, " the confident of her love. She 
confessed to me, that she had always a secret presenti- 
ment, of being one day beloved by the king, and that she 
had felt a violent inclination for him, without being able 
to comprehend it. Such an expectation, in a woman in 
her situation, appeared chimerical and absurd, but was 
owing to the frequent opportunities she had of seeing the 
king hunt in the forest of Senar, where Tournehem, her 
mother's lover, had a country house. Madame d'Etioles 
used to follow the king, seated in a beautiful calash. He 
observed her, and often sent her presents of squirrels. 
The mother never ceased to instil into her, that she was 
handsomer than Madame de Chateauroux ; and old 
Tournehem was always repeating, that she was a morsel 
fit for a king." At length their designs succeeded: 
Louis XV. struck with her frequent appearance, and 
flattered, perhaps, by the persevering attentions of a 
beautiful woman, who seemed disposed to love him more 
as a man than as a monarch, declared his attachment. 
She was immediately created Marchioness of Pompadour, 
and soon obtained the most unbounded credit. 

It is neither from the scandalous libels of the time, nor 
from the venal applause of those who obtained her pro- 
tection, that we are to estimate the character of this 
favourite. Most of the impolitic measures which then 
disgraced the court of France, have been attributed to 
her influence ; she is represented as having disposed at 
her will and pleasure, of every appointment under the 

prance.] MAD. DE POMPADOUR. 

government ; choosing and displacing ministers, generals, 
and magistrates, as her caprice dictated. It is even 
said, that she sent military plans to the commanders-in- 
chief, in which she had marked with patches the towns 
they were to take, and the roads they were to pursue. 
There is no doubt much exaggeration in these reports. 
Those who are better informed, well know that her 
power was not at first so despotic and so absolute ; and 
that she frequently experienced contradiction and 
chagrin from the royal family, and even from some of 
the ministers. It is true that she afterwards took care 
to promote only those of whose submission and compliance 
she was morally certain, and kept at a distance others 
whose talents or spirit she dreaded. By a good fortune, 
not very common in persons in her situation, she became 
more powerful in proportion as her charms declined ; and 
preserved to the last moment of her existence, her 
influence over the mind of her royal lover. To this 
influence must be ascribed all the events of the war of 
1756, so calamitous for France, and so glorious for 
England. Highly flattered by a condescending note 
written to her by the empress-queen, she provoked that 
war, opposed every overture for peace ; banished the 
Cardinal de Bernis, who conceived that peace was 
necessary; and by her choice of unskilful generals, 
incontestibly occasioned those disastrous campaigns by 
which the power of France was so much weakened, and 
her glory so much obscured. 

It would be unjust, however, to withhold from Madame 
de Pompadour, any portion of praise where she appears 
really to have deserved it. She loved the arts, and 
encouraged those who cultivated them. Many artists 
and men of letters were indebted to her recommendation 
for places and pensions. She had formed one of the finest 

MAD. DE POMPADOUR. [france. 

cabinets in Paris, for books, pictures, and curiosities 
She had also the merit of recommending a most useful 
establishment, that of the military school, of which 
Paris Du Vernay was the first suggester. Though the 
severity of history, in condescending to notice the infamy 
of her station, will condemn the part she took in public 
affairs, yet those who delight to judge of characters by 
their private virtues or defects, will not refuse her the 
qualities of affability and humanity. 

She died at Paris, in 1764, at the age of 44, with 
greater resignation than could be expected from a woman 
who had, to appearance, enjoyed so much happiness. A 
short time before she expired, the rector of the parish in 
which she resided, attended to prepare her for death. As 
he was taking his leave, " Stay a moment, Sir," said the 
Marchioness, "we will depart together." Louis XV. 
whose character was apathy itself, appeared little to regret 
her loss. 




-faMt&i £ ^"^i.. ><>. 

Zondon^EublLi-tid m trt/u^.IT^ea \ .f/uirf? .Zouizrx^zPo-j 


Raphael is one of those extraordinary men who can 
gain little by a repetition of praise. No other painter has 
been so uniformly and so justly celebrated ; the greatest 
masters now derive the estimation in which they are held, 
only in proportion as they approach to the perfection of 
his works ; those who adopt him as a model, do not pre- 
sume to equal him, and none can become good painters 
without a deep and acknowledged sense of the supe- 
riority of this unrivalled artist. This is the opinion of 
connoisseurs; but Raphael enjoys another advantage 
peculiar to himself, and which is not attached to the 
reputation of any other : his name is familiar even to the 
lower classes of the people, who fancy that every good 
picture is the production of Raphael ; he is, perhaps, the 
only master with whom they are acquainted; and it must, 
be confessed, that to those who are ambitious of any kind 
of glory, the voice of the people is not so unimportant 
a sanction as many affect to imagine. 

The life of Raphael, unlike that of so many illustrious 
men, does not present those vicissitudes of good and evil 
fortune, which so much increase the interest excited by 
a man of genius. He was uniformly opulent and pros- 
perous, and nature had bestowed on him its choicest 
gifts. He had a handsome figure, an engaging physiog- 
nomy, and a soothing and persuasive eloquence, that 
conciliated and enforced every dictate of his mind. 
He possessed all the mild and amiable virtues ; his can- 
dour, his modesty, and his disinterestedness, secured him 
the friendship of all who approached him. To the stings 
of professional jealousy he was a perfect stranger; and it 

RAPHAEL. [italy. 

does not appear that he was assailed by the envy or 
jealousy of others, if we except Michael Angelo, who, 
however, rendered him ample justice. But of the merit 
of M. Angelo, Raphael was so fully sensible, that he 
would often exclaim, " I thank Heaven that I am born 
in the same age with that illustrious man 1" 

Duly to estimate the exalted talents of Raphael, it is 
only necessary briefly to sketch the events of his life, — 
unhappily for himself and the world, of too short a 

He was born at Urbino, 150 miles from Rome, in 1483. 

His father, John Sansio, himself an inferior painter, but 

a man of excellent judgment, soon foresaw what his son 

might become if placed in able hands. He placed him 

under the tuition of Perugino, who was then an artist of 

distinguished reputation, but who now enjoys no other 

fame than that of having been master to the first painter 

of the world. At first, Raphael copied the manner of 

Perugino; that is to say, he imitated nature with accuracy, 

but with stiffness. But though he soon surpassed his 

master, he felt that he yet knew but little, and eagerly 

repaired to Florence, to which he was attracted by the 

great fame of Michael Angelo and Leonardo da Vinci. 

An examination of their works disclosed to him new ideas 

and a better method ; their rivalship and disputes were 

useful to him, by the knowledge and talents which they 

displayed, and he soon began to paint in a higher style, 

though still inferior to that which he afterwards attained. 

Nor must it be omitted, to the praise of Raphael, that his 

good sense led him to seek information from every quarter; 

and the pictures of Masaccio, who died in 1443, and the 

advice of Bartolomeo of St. Mark, contributed not a 

little to his first improvements. 

Italy.] RAPHAEL. 

The reputation of Raphael now began to spread in 
Italy. Some family affairs recalled him to Urbino, which 
city he enriched with several of his works ; he then 
returned to Florence, where he remained four years. He 
was in his twenty-fifth year, when Bramante, his uncle, 
who was architect to Julius II. persuaded that pontiff to 
make choice of Raphael for the embellishment of the 
Vatican. Such a choice must at the time have been con- 
sidered as an act of great injustice to the many eminent 
painters who had been already employed by the pope. 
Bramante, who had probably discovered the great genius 
which his nephew possessed, conciliated in his favour the 
suffrages of the nobles ; and Raphael was received in the 
capital of the Christian world, as one destined to restore 
the arts to their former splendour. When we consider this 
young painter, commencing this most formidable under- 
taking, surrounded by so many men whose interest it was 
that he should fail, and at a time when the art itself had 
not attained the perfection which it has since acquired, 
we may form some idea of that wonderful talent which 
made him surmount every obstacle, surpass the opinion 
/which had been formed of him, and leave every rival 
far behind him. "It is probable," as Sir Joshua Rey- 
nolds justly observes, " that we are indebted to the 
remarkable and critical situation in which he was placed, 
for the magnificent chef d'ceuvres which he has left us." 
His first capital work in the Vatican was the Alfresco, 
known by the name of the Dispute of the Holy Sacrament. 
Although in the upper part of this picture, we may still 
recognize the pupil of Perugino, he displayed all the 
talent which afterwards distinguished him. His second 
piece, the School of Athens, acquired him all his glory : 
it is the master-piece of design among the moderns, 
From that time, he continued to produce those incom- 
parable pieces, which prove that poetry, histoiy, and 

RAPHAEL, [italy. 

the sciences, were as familiar to him as painting. The 
success he experienced could not induce him to neglect 
his studies ; he incessantly meditated the antique, and 
the beauties of the Sixtine Chapel, into which he was 
introduced by Bramante, in defiance of the prohibition 
of M. Angelo, inspired him with the ambition of 
attempting even beyond his former efforts. Of this we 
may be convinced on visiting another chamber of the 
Vatican. But the prodigious variety of his occupations, 
and the time which he devoted to architecture at the 
request of the pope, did not permit him to execute any 
part of the different compositions in which he was 
engaged. He contented himself with the design, and 
intrusted their execution to his pupils, of whom Julio 
Romano, Francesco Penni, Polidoro da Caravaggio, and 
Perini del Vaga, are the most celebrated. 

It is remarkable, that the most capital fresco paintings 
of Raphael, in the Vatican, do not strike one immediately 
with that surprise, which, undoubtedly, is expected from 
the fame of that illustrious master ; and a story is related 
by De Piles, that a person* of acknowledged taste and 
judgment, who was also an idolizer of Raphael, visiting 
the Vatican with an eager desire to study his works, 
passed by those very compositions with indifference, 
which were the objects of his inquiry and curiosity, till 
he was recalled by his conductor, who told him that he 
had overlooked what he sought for. 

That effect is supposed by De Piles to be occasioned 
by the want of strength of coloring proper for each 
object ; that coloring not being sufficiently supported by 
a powerful chiaro-scuro. But Montesquieu accounts for 

* Monsieur de Valincourt 

Italy.] RAPHAEL. 

it in a different manner : lie observes, that the works of 
Raphael strike little at first sight, because he imitates 
nature so well, that the spectator is no more surprised than 
when he sees the object itself, which would excite no 
degree of surprise at all; but that an uncommon expres- 
sion, strong coloring, or odd and singular attitudes of an 
inferior artist, strike us at first sight, because we have not 
been accustomed to see them elsewhere. And to illus- 
trate this point he compares Raphael to Virgil ; sublime, 
easy, natural, and majestic : and the Venetian painters, 
with their constrained attitudes, he compares to Lucan. 
Virgil, more natural, strikes us at first less, and strikes 
us afterwards more sensibly ; Lucan strikes immediately, 
but strikes us abundantly less after. And certainly there 
cannot be a stronger test of the excellence of any per- 
formance, either in poetry or painting, than to find the 
surprise we at first feel to be not very powerful ; and yet 
to find, by more frequently conversing with it, that it not 
only supports itself, but increases continually in our 
esteem, and at last leads to admiration. 

An immense fortune was the consequence and reward 
of his multifarious labours ; his house displayed all the 
magnificence of a prince; under the superintendence of 
Penni, it was always open to those who loved and culti- 
vated painting. He was, besides, connected with the first 
literati of his age; Ariosto, Bembo, and Castiglione, 
gloried in his friendship, and with them he amused his 
leisure hours. He was munificent to his co temporary 
artists, whose necessities he saw and relieved ; and far 
from making a secret of his talents, he was prodigal of 
advice to his pupils, whose studies he incessantly directed ; 
he would frequently interrupt his own work to attend to 
their progress ; and when he walked in the streets of 
Rome, he was always surrounded by his favourite scholars, 

RAPHAEL. [italV. 

The accession of Leo X. was still more favorable to 
the happy destiny of Raphael ; but he in secret cherished 
a desire of quitting Rome. Francis I. had then auspici- 
ously commenced a reign, which, notwithstanding many 
subsequent calamities, will always be marked as the era 
when literature and the arts first began to be encouraged 
in France. He invited Raphael to his court, and the 
illustrious painter would have acceded to his request, but 
was deterred by the intreaties of Bramante and the in- 
creasing liberality of Leo X. He then sent to the French 
monarch his picture of St. Michael, which was entirely 
executed by his own hand. For this he was so magni- 
ficently paid, that he considered himself obliged to send 
another to the king, which was his celebrated Holy 
Family. For this sublime production the king insisted on 
a still more liberal remuneration. It was in allusion to 
this generous struggle, that Francis I. in a letter which 
he wrote to Raphael, asserted, that all men of superior 
talents were upon an equal rank with sovereigns. Raphael, 
affected by so much condescension, then conceived his 
first idea of the Transfiguration, which he intended to 
present to Francis, as an act of becoming homage to his 
munificent and discerning patron. He had beside, another 
motive ; he had, by this time, painted the rooms of the 
Vatican, the Farnesine Psyche, and he had sketched his 
famous cartoons ; he had completed innumerable other 
master-pieces; but at length his genius appeared to slum- 
ber awhile, and criticism had already began lo exercise 
itself upon some later compositions, which had been 
entirely executed by his pupils. He determined to silence 
the malignant attacks of his adversaries, and began that 
matchless performance, which was to be the perfection of 
the art. At the very same time, Michael Angelo had pre- 
sented Sebastian del Piombo with a design of the resur* 
lection of Lazarus, with a view of opposing this picture 

italy.] RAPHAEL* 

to that of Raphael. This was another stimulus for the 
latter to exert all the powers of his mighty genius ; and 
it occasioned him to say, " That it would have been dis- 
honorable to struggle with Sebastian, but that it was 
glorious to contend with M. Angelo !" The world was 
about to be presented with the most finished production 
ever executed by the hand of man, but the premature 
death of Raphael prevented its completion. He had 
always indulged a violent passion for the sex, and in a 
city where his merit procured him the most unbounded 
license, he had too many opportunities of gratifying his 
propensity. Some of his friends were not ashamed of 
assisting at his indiscretion ; and a cardinal, who had 
invited him to his palace, in order to finish some paint- 
ings, was compelled also to admit his mistress. 

The Cardinal Bibiena, desirous of withdrawing him 
from so much dissipation, had offered him his own niece in 
marriage ; but Raphael, who had consented to this union 
only in deference to the cardinal, and who had besides 
received from Leo X. the promise of being created a 
cardinal himself, was in no haste to marry the niece of his 
friend, and continued to lead the most voluptuous life. — 
At length, his imprudence injured his health, and the 
fatal excess produced a fever in his blood. A sense of 
shame prevented him from disclosing the cause to his 
physicians, and he fell a victim to their ignorance of his 
malady. He beheld the approach of death with pious 
resignation. He dismissed the woman who had shared 
his guilt, but settled upon her a sufficient sum to prevent 
her from again falling into similar errors. The names of 
all his pupils are to be found in his will. Francesco Penni, 
Julio Romano, and a priest of Urbino, his relation, were 
his principal legatees. At length, on Good Friday, 1519, 
the anniversary of his birth, he expired at the age of 

RAPHAEL. [italy. 

thirty-seven years. His death occasioned a general con- 
sternation in Rome, and his funeral was attended by 
many illustrious persons. His Transfiguration was ex- 
hibited in its then imperfect state, — an affecting and 
appropriate tribute to his memory ! He was buried, by 
his own desire, in the church of the Rotunda. 

ei Raphael," says Mengs, who is the least enthusiastic 
of his admirers, " undoubtedly deserves the first rank 
among great painters ; not so much from his having 
united in himself all the requisites of his art, but because 
he possessed its essential attributes. Painting, as we 
know, consists in several parts — design, chiaro-scuro, 
coloring, composition, and freedom. Raphael distin- 
guished himself in design, composition, and even in 
grace, while Correggio excelled only in coloring; and 
Titian's chief merit was in coloring, and a faithful 
imitation of nature. We cannot, therefore, refuse to 
assign the palm of merit to Raphael, who thus possessed 
the most sublime and important principles of his art." 

Raphael, like all other persons eminently distin- 
guished, improved progressively. His talents are more 
conspicuous in his pictures in water-colors than in 
those of oil. His cartoons are assuredly the triumph of 
his genius. England possesses four of these great 
works, besides those in the royal collection at Windsor . 
two at Boughton, near Kettering, in Northamptonshire : 
one of the vision of Ezekiel, the other of the Holy 
Family. The Duke of Beaufort, at his seat at Bad- 
minton, near Bath, has a Holy Family in cartoon, by 
Raphael. Another cartoon, by the same master, repre- 
senting the Massacre of the Innocents, was in the 
possession of the late ingenious and excellent Mr. 
Hoare, of Bath. 

• ;iiinii!iiiiiimwi,r : imps 




This is one of the most extraordinary painters of the 
Flemish school. He was horn on the 15th of June, 1606, 
between the villages of Leyerdorp and Koukerch, near 
the city of Leyden. His father, Herman Gerretsz Van 
Ryn, was a miller, and rented a mill on the border of the 
Rhyne, by which he acquired the surname of Van Ryn, 
though his family name was Gerretsz. The miller had 
the sagacity to perceive in his son a more than ordinary 
genius, and determined that he should be a scholar, 
rather than follow his own profession. 

But, notwithstanding this apparent vivacity, Rem- 
brandt could scarcely be taught to read. He was more 
taken up with the study of design, than of the sciences, 
which induced his father, who attentively watched all his 
motions, to place him under Van Zwanenburg, a painter 
of Amsterdam. He soon discovered an inventive genius, 
and a facility of execution, which astonished his master. 
At the end of three years he had mastered every secret of 
his art, and made those discoveries which procured him 
the character of originality that always distinguished 
him. Lastman, Pinas, and Schoolin, were, afterwards, 
successively his masters: he then returned to his father's, 
and, for a long time, would have no other painting room 
than the mill. The space he reserved to himself, he 
inclosed on all sides, with the exception of a single 
aperture, from which he received a partial light, and which 
directing its rays on only one part of his pictures, pro- 
cured him all the magic of the chiaro-scuro. There, 
retired from the world; he supposed he should remain in 

REMBRANDT. [Holland. 

peace and obscurity ; but some of his brother-artists, by a 
very uncommon proceeding, contributed to make him 
known, and advised him to take to Amsterdam a picture 
which he had finished. For this he received one hundred 
florins, a sum which he then thought inexhaustible, and 
which proved the foundation of his future opulence and 
success. The celebrity he acquired by some portraits, 
determined him, at length, to seek a wider circle, and 
he removed to Amsterdam in 1630. He was, in a short 
time, so overwhelmed by business, and the number of 
his pupils, that he was compelled to hire a warehouse, in 
which he constructed a closet for each of his pupils ; by 
which means they were less able to disturb each other, 
and he himself was less liable to interruption. 

When he no longer could doubt of his success, he 
married a young village girl, of Ramdorp, whose portrait 
he has often drawn. At this time he was accustomed to 
finish his pictures with all the accuracy and minuteness 
of Mieris. His St. Peter's Back, Haman and Ahasuerus, 
the Woman taken in Adultery, and St. John preaching in 
the Wilderness, are as remarkable for their admirable 
finishing, as for their spirit and strength of coloring ; 
but as his fame and emoluments increased, he became 
negligent, and the more he gained, the more was he 
tormented by an insatiable desire of gain. The anecdotes 
told of his ingenious manoeuvres to obtain money, 
are innumerable, and betray the most refined avarice. 
This unhappy vice, which seldom diminishes with age, he 
carried to such excess, that he would connive at his son's 
selling his engravings, and make it appear that they had 
been offered to sale without his knowledge. At other 
times he would send them to a public auction, and attend 
himself, to increase their price by his own bidding. By 
a refinement in avarice, till then unknown, he was accus- 

Holland.] REMBRANDT. 

tomed to take impressions from his plates before they 
were finished. After these had had a considerable sale, 
he would finish the plate, and sell it as a new engraving ; 
and, even when it was worn out, he was known to make 
some fresh alterations, by which he procured a third sale 
for the same plate. His wife, who was as avaricious as 
himself, persuaded him one day to conceal himself, and to 
suffer a report to be spread that he was dead, in order to 
insure a greater price for his works : the experiment suc- 
ceeded, and Rembrandt had the satisfaction of laughing 
at those whom he had thus deceived. Notwithstanding 
these unworthy tricks, many have asserted that he died 
poor, but the sums he acquired by the sale of his pictures 
were immense ; and as, according to Houbraken, he was 
extremely economical in his expences, he must have 
left very considerable riches at his decease. 

If this great painter had moved in a circle of greater 
opulence, there would have been a material difference in 
his works — his choice of subjects would have been more 
elevated — his style of painting more noble, and he would 
have dignified the natural genius with which he was 
gifted. In vain did his friend, the Burgomaster Six, 
attempt to draw him into more polished societies — Rem- 
brandt desired to live only among people inferior to 
himself. If he quitted them for others of higher rank, it 
was only to lay these under contribution, and would 
abruptly leave them when he had received the sums he 
exacted. Thus he lived, alternately occupied by the 
love of his art, and the love of money, till he attained 
his 68th year, and expired in 1674. 

Rembrandt would have been a much greater painter 
had he been born at Rome, or had studied there. He 
owed his talent entirely to nature, and was little desirous 

REMBRANDT. [Holland. 

of attaining the graces of his art. If ever he approached 
perfection, it was without either design or consciousness, 
merely by the force of his imagination, and his close 
adherence to natural objects. His most remarkable 
characteristic, is the beauty of his colouring. To this 
favorite point he willingly sacrificed every other con- 
sideration of judgment, taste, design, and correction: he 
had no other notion of antiquity, than in the casual 
delineation of old armour, or worn-out tapestry; he 
neither understood history nor mythology, and never 
submitted to the study of perspective. Inimitable in his 
manner and coloring, he is perhaps the worst model 
that can be followed by a young artist. His portraits 
are admirable, but as they are in general thickly colored, 
they are but seen at a small distance. From the bold 
style of painting which his pictures exhibit, we are led to 
suppose that he executed with considerable facility ; but 
his uncertainty in the selection of attitudes and drapery, 
and his little acquaintance with the works of the Italian 
masters, often occasioned him to lose sight of the vigour 
and animation of his first ideas. He would frequently 
alter, four or five times, the head of a portrait, and the 
patience of those who sat to him would have been 
exhausted, had not the force and fidelity of his pencil 
amply compensated for the suspense he occasioned. 

Whatever Rembrandt designed, was without dignity, 
but full of expression ; his pains possessed fire, but he 
was incapable of elevation ; he was ignorant of the re- 
sources that may be drawn from poetry ; allegory and 
costume were utterly unknown to him : his dresses were 
always the same, and so whimsical, that they appear to 
be sketched in the style of a masquerade, rather than as 
pictures of national customs. His historical works are by 
no means so numerous as his portraits, and the few we 

Holland.] REMBRANDT. 

have, are as ridiculous in the eyes of the learned, as they 
are admirable in the estimation of painters. 

His designs, except in his portraits, are scarcely more 
tolerable, and of these, the heads alone were well drawn. 
He was so conscious of his inability to sketch the hands, 
that he concealed them as frequently as he could. His 
women seldom possess the grace of their sex. Whenever 
he attempted a naked figure, he displayed little correct- 
ness or elegance : they are short, of a meagre, unnatural 
form, and their extremities either too large or too small, 
without the slightest attention to proportion or grace. 
But if he thus failed in the correctness and purity of design, 
Rembrandt, by the beauty of his coloring, the strength 
of his touch, and management of chiaro-scuro, will bear 
a comparison with the greatest painter that ever existed. 

"Rembrandt Yan Ryn," observes M. Fuseli, "was a 
meteor in art. Disdaining to acknowledge the usual laws 
of admission to the Temple of Fame, he boldly forged his 
own keys, entered and took possession of a most con- 
spicuous place by his own powers. He was undoubtedly 
a genius of the first class, in whatever is not immediately 
related to form or taste. In spite of the most potentous 
deformity, and without considering the spell of his 
chiaro-scuro, such were his powers of nature, such the 
grandeur, pathos, or simplicity of his composition, from 
the most elevated or extensive arrangement, to the 
meanest or most homely, that the most untutored and the 
best cultivated age, plain common sense and the most 
refined sensibility, dwell on them enthralled. Shak- 
speare alone excepted, no one combined with so much 
transcendant excellence, so many, in all other men, 
unpardonable faults, and reconciled us to them. He 
possessed the full empire of light and shade, and all the 

REMBRANDT. [Holland. 

tints that float between them. He tinged his pencil with 
equal success in the cool of dawn, in the noon-tide ray, in 
the vivid flash, in evanescent twilight, and rendered 
darkness visible. Though made to bend a stedfast eye 
on the bolder phenomena of nature, yet he knew how to 
follow her into her calmest abodes, gave interest to 
insipidity or boldness, and plucked a flower in every desert. 
Few, like Rembrandt, knew how to improve an accident 
into a beauty, or give importance to style. If ever he had 
a master, he had no follower : Holland was not made to 
comprehend his power ; the succeeding school consisted 
of colorists, content to tip the cottage, the hamlet, the 
boor, the ale-pot, the shamble, and the haze of winter, 
with orient hues, or the glow of setting summer suns." 

The works of Rembrandt were always held in the 
highest estimation, and sold at very high prices ; this 
has recently been proved in a very extraordinary degree. 
A picture by this master, was a few months ago exposed 
to sale by public auction, and after having been bought 
in by the owner, was purchased by private contract by a 
wealthy connoisseur, at the price of £5,000. This picture 
was painted for a burgomaster in Holland, and remained 
in his family until the subjugation of that country by the 
French, when it was, with all possible secrecy and dis- 
patch, conveyed along the shores of the Baltic to a port, 
from whence it was shipped to England. It is unques- 
tionably a capital picture; most of the figures are 
unusually fine, and the light diffused over the whole, is 
inimitable, and perhaps as consonant to truth and nature 
as the art of painting can possibly represent. It is not 
only in Rembrandt's best manner, but perhaps the finest 
picture ever seen from his pencil : but it must be con- 
fessed, that the price said to have been paid for it, was 


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This great artist, the esteemed pupil and continuator 
of the works of Raphael, was born at Rome, in 1492. 
His former name was Pippi. At an early age he had 
the honor to superintend the works, unfinished of his 
master, which roused that loftiness of conception, and 
gave birth to those magnificent plans, from which arose 
Mantua and the wonders of the palace Del T, as by 
enchantment. His happy execution, and correctness of 
design, rendered him worthy of this distinction. In 
whatever degree he was subordinate to the conceptions 
of Raphael, he endeavoured to imitate him in grace ; but 
when death deprived him of his immortal guide, he at 
times forgot his lessons, and shewed himself dry, and 
frequently grotesque. Still in his compositions, and in 
his style, he was always sublime, majestic, and profound. 
The study of history, mythology, and the antique, en- 
riched his inventive mind ; but nature was overlooked. 
The little simplicity that pervades his works, proves to 
what an extent she was neglected. 

At the death of Raphael, who appointed him one of 
his executors, he was made choice of to finish the picture 
which that great master had left imperfect. This was 
alone sufficient to confirm his fame. He was solicited, 
by the Duke of Mantua, to quit Rome, but was urged 
to it by the following circumstance. He had furnished 
the engraver, Mark Anthony, with designs for twenty 
obscene prints, from the sonnets of Aretino, which the 
celebrity of the poet tended to circulate. The artists 

JULIO ROMANO. [italy. 

were accused and sought after ; Mark Anthony was 
apprehended, and thrown into prison ; and the same 
fate Julio would have experienced, had he continued at 

But the talents of Romano were not confined to 
painting : as an architect and engineer, he claims our 
regard. He fortified the city of Mantua, preserved it 
from inundations, and constructed the celebrated palace 
of T. This monument he enriched with his paintings ; 
and it is by these specimens in every class of picturesque 
imagery, that we should form a judgment of the extent 
of his acquirements and the force of his genius. — 
Whatever be the subject or scenery, minute or colossal, 
simple or complex, terrible or pleasing, we trace a mind 
bent to surprise or to dazzle by poetic splendour ; but, 
sure to strike at the originality of his conception, he often 
neglects propriety in the conduct of his subjects, con- 
sidered as a series ; and in the arrangement or choice of 
the connecting parts, hurried into extremes by the torrent 
of a fancy more lyric than epic, he disdains to fill the 
intermediate chasms, and often leaves the task of connec- 
tion to the spectator. Francis the First endeavoured to 
seduce him into France ; but Julio could not be prevailed 
upon to quit Italy. Many palaces have been built after 
his designs in the neighbourhood of Rome, where he was 
appointed architect to St. Peters, on the death of St. 
Gallo. On this occasion, the Duke used every possible 
entreaty to keep him at Mantua ; but he resolved to 
repair to Rome, to fill the important station to which he 
had been elected , when he was carried off in 1546, at the 
age of 54. 



Salvator Rosa was born at Naples, in the year 1615^ 
and received his first knowledge of design and coloring 
from his kinsman, Francesco Francazano. By the death 
of bis father, he was reduced to the lowest poverty, and 
compelled to expose his first paintings in the public 
streets. In this situation he remained some time, until 
one of his designs falling into the hands of Lanfrane, he 
took the young painter under his protection, and in- 
structed him in his art. Rosa, from this change in his 
circumstances, was admitted in the school of Spagnoletto, 
whom he followed to Rome, where his genius began to 
disclose itself, and his reputation became confirmed. 

Salvator received from nature an enlarged and compre- 
hensive mind ; a lively, fertile, and poetic imagination. 
The extreme facility with which he painted, carried him 
at times beyond the severe rules of taste : his historical 
pictures, therefore, are inferior to his landscapes and his 
battles. It is in those works in which he worked from the 
exuberance of his own fancy, that he gave the greatest 
proof of extraordinary talents. His compositions, in 
general, have peculiar force and energy ; his touch is 
vigorous, his design bold and natural ; and throughout his 
pictures we may perceive an admirable correspondence 
of ideas, execution, and effect. This painter studied 
nature with profound attention and judgment. Every 
thing is of a piece ; his rocks, trees, sky, even to his 
handling, have the same rude and wild character which 
animates his figures, but he chose to represent her in her 
utmost grandeur and magnificence, and at times under 
an aspect truly terrific. His battles are sanguinary in 
the extreme ; his sea-pieces represent the most disastrous 


tempest, and his landscapes scenes of wildness and horror, 
"He delights," says M. Fuseli, "in ideas of desolation, 
solitude, and danger, impenetrable forests, rocky or storm- 
lashed shores ; in lonely dells leading to dens and caverns 
of banditti, alpine ridges, trees blasted by lightning, or 
sapped by time, or stretching their extravagant arms 
athwart a murky sky ; lowering or thundering clouds, 
and suns shorn of their beams. His figures are wandering 
shepherds, forlorn travellers, wrecked mariners, banditti 
lurking for their prey, or dividing their spoils. But this 
general vein of sublimity or terror forsook him in the 
pursuit of witcheries, apparitions, and spectres : here he 
is only grotesque or capricious." 

Salvator, however, possessed considerable humour, and 
a lively imagination, that procured him many friends, 
whom he had the art to preserve. His education, which 
had been particularly attended to, enabled him to culti- 
vate poetry with considerable success. His satires are 
much esteemed by the Italians, who gave him a dis- 
tinguished rank among the poets of his time. 

Salvator passed nine years at Florence, and was loaded 
with favors by the grand duke, whose liberality furnished 
him with all the comforts of life. He was fond of music 
and the stage, composed several theatrical pieces, and 
invented, daily, some novelty to amuse his friends. His 
talents and conviviality remained to his last moments. 
He died at Rome, aged 58. 

His genuine works are exceedingly rare and valuable, 
but many of them are in the rich and curious collections 
of the English nobility and gentry. A most capital pic- 
ture of Salvator is in the Louvre, of which the subject is 
Saul and the Witch of Endor. 

" . 

- . 


Few men have more experienced the vicissitudes of 
fortune, or were more deserving of her favors, than Stan* 
islaus Leczinski, King of Poland, Duke of Lorraine 
and Bar. He was the son of the grand treasurer of the 
crown, and born at Leopold on the 10th of October, 1677. 
His constitution, naturally feeble, was strengthened by a 
masculine education, and his mind happily cultivated, 
became enriched with all that ancient or modern litera- 
ture could produce. He studied with considerable ad- 
vantage the laws of his country ; and visited afterwards 
the principal courts in Europe. On his return from 
Italy he found his grandfather, Sobieski, on the point of 
death. His decease was followed by a turbulent inter- 
regnum. Several palatines aspired to succeed him. 
Frederic Augustus, Elector of Saxony, in the end pre- 
vailed, and was crowned on the 15th of September, 1697. 
At the same moment Charles XII. of Sweden, ascended 
the throne. He was young, and conceived incapable of 
resistance. Three great powers resolved to possess them- 
selves of his states. But the intrepid Alexander of the 
North, attacked the Danes in their own territories, over- 
powered the Muscovites at Narva, and turned his army 
against Frederic Augustus. This prince was soon after 
compelled to resign his crown: and Charles, who had 
proved himself sufficiently strong to deprive the Poles of 
one king, pretended to have a right of giving them 
another. Stanislaus, then in his twenty-sixth year, 
Palatine of Posnania, General of Great Poland, and 



deputed by Charles XII. to the Assembly of Darlovie, 
inspired so much esteem in the mind of the conqueror, 
that Charles placed the sceptre in his hinds. In an 
assembly at Colo, he proclaimed him King ; and even 
compelled Augustus to congratulate his rival upon his 
elevation to the throne. 

Stanislaus was very soon universally acknowledged by 
his new subjects, whose happiness he had at heart. 
But the disasters of Charles at Pultowa, were the 
beginning of his own misfortunes. Deprived of the 
succour of his protector he was obliged to abandon 
Poland, that was already filled with Russian troops, 
and of which the major part declared in favor of 
Augustus. It was at this crisis that Stanislaus evinced 
the greatness of his mind. Stralsund, Stettin, and 
Rostock, beheld in him alternately the intrepid soldier 
and skilful general. But all his efforts proving fruitless, 
he abdicated the throne, in order to stop the effusion 
of blood which had been shed in his cause. He fled 
with his family to Dresden, where he experienced a 
calamity, which he more sensibly felt than the loss 
of his dominions, in the death of his eldest daughter. 
Soon after, the demise of Charles XII. destroyed all 
his hopes. He then returned to Wassembourgh, in 
Alsace. Frederic Augustus, indignant at the asylum 
which had been granted to Stanislaus, ordered his 
envoy, Sum, to present a remonstrance to the court 
of France. It was on this occasion that the regent 
replied to Sum, in these remarkable words : " Tell your 
master that France has ever been the asylum of unfor- 
tunate kings/' 

In 1725, seven years after, the marriage of Louis XV. 
with the daughter of the King of Poland, having been 


celebrated at Fontainebleau, Stanislaus resolved to take 
up his residence at Chambord, and to forget in the 
sweets of repose the mischances of his past life. But 
his misfortunes were not yet terminated ; the death of 
Frederic Augustus, and the voice of a number of his 
countrymen, recalled him into Poland. Duty, rather 
than inclination, determined him to resume a crown, 
which had never been to him a source of felicity. He 
set out in the disguise of a peasant, and arrived at 
Warsaw, where he discovered himself ; and suddenly, 
by one hundred thousand voices, was again proclaimed 
King of Poland. But his kingdom was agitated by- 
faction. Some powerful states excited the mal-con- 
tents, whom Stanislaus might have reduced to obe- 
dience. Still the idea of a civil war, and of which 
he was the object, was frightful to him. He was 
unwilling to consolidate his power by force of arms, 
and replied to those who urged him to act against the 
insurgents : " If my throne must be cemented by the 
blood of my people, I would much rather renounce it 
for ever." This excessive goodness and indecision has- 
tened his fall. The assistance of France having failed 
in preventing the election of Frederic Augustus III. son 
of Frederic Augustus of Saxony ; and Russia and 
Austria having declared in favor of the new king, 
Stanislaus was obliged to fly to Dantzic, where he was 
idolized by the inhabitants. Besieged by the Russians, 
and seeing the city reduced to the most deplorable 
state, Stanislaus resolved to quit the place, to afford 
Dantzic the liberty of capitulating. This unfortunate 
prince, wandering in the midst of forests, always 
surrounded by enemies, and frequently betrayed by 
that air of dignity which burst forth through the 
tattered garments that covered him, was at length 
enabled to reach the dominions of the King of Prussia 

STANISLAUS. [poland. 

who received him with all the consideration due to a 
persecuted sovereign from an august prince. The 
mind of Stanislaus still retained its wonted firmness. 
" Our misfortunes," said he, in a letter to the queen his 
daughter, " are only great in the eyes of ambition, who 
know none greater than the loss of a crown. Ought I to 
stretch out my hands to regain it ? No ; it is better to 
be resigned to the will of Providence, whose dispensa- 
tions convince us of the futility and nothingness of the 
things of this world." 

The peace of 1736, decided the fate of Stanislaus. It 
was agreed that he should abdicate the throne, but 
that he should retain the title of King of Poland, and 
Grand Duke of Lithuania ; that his private patrimony 
should be restored; and that he should receive, by 
way of indemnity, the Dutchies of Lorraine and of 
Bar; which, after his death, should be united to 

The quiet life of a philosopher suited the character of 
Stanislaus; this he enjoyed on his new acquisitions. 
Happy in contributing to the comfort of his people, 
he passed his time either in study or with his friends. 
His benevolence was extended to every class of society, 
and the wants of the indigent especially engrossed his 
thoughts. This prince sent to the magistrates of the 
city of Bar, eighteen thousand crowns, to be laid out in 
the purchase of wheat, when at a low price; who 
afterwards sold it to the poor at a moderate rate when it 
became dear. This measure, which reflects as much 
honour on the goodness of his heart, as his prudence, 
and the paternal care which he incessantly manifested 
for his subjects, induced them to give him the surname 
of Beneficent; the appellation Stanislaus in truth 


merited. He proved himself ever the friend of humanity, 
and instituted several useful establishments. Nancy, 
Luneville were embellished ; the little city of Saint 
Diez, destroyed by fire, was rebuilt ; he founded hospitals 
for children ; seminaries for youth ; and houses of 
retirement for old age. Lorraine under Stanislaus 
might form some conception of the happiness of Rome 
under Titus. Happy and flourishing, she only 
demanded the prolongation of the life of so good a 
prince, when a tragical accident hastened his death. 
His Robe de Chambre one morning caught fire, and a 
fever occasioned by the flames terminated his existence, 
on the 23rd of February, 1766. 

In the person of Stanislaus may be seen two 
different men on the same throne ; the one worthy of 
giving happiness to a quiet state, disturbed by no 
faction, and whose prosperity consists in the paternal 
attentions of its king. The other incapable, by the 
indecision of his character, to strengthen a tottering 
empire, and to demand obediance from a volatile and 
restless people, inconstant in their affections, and ever 
ready to arm against their prince. But if Stanislaus 
had not all the qualities which compose a great king, 
he had those of a virtuous sovereign. His heart was 
good, and misfortunes had perhaps augmented his 
natural kindness. His eloquence was persuasive, 
nervous, and without art, and his mind active and 
penetrating. He was ready at repartee, and this talent 
remained to his last moments. — During the fever which 
his accident produced, the queen recommended him to 
guard against cold. "You ought rather," he replied, 
" to caution me against heat." 

Stanislaus cherished the arts and cultivated them. 

STANISLAUS. [poland 

His court at Luneville became the Athens of Franca 
He encouraged talents, and appeared to forget his own 
in giving brilliancy to those of others. He spoke 
French with purity and elegance. The love of 
mankind, and his desire to render them happy, gave 
birth to the various tracts he left behind him, under the 
title of " The Works of a Beneficent Philosopher^" 
which have been published in 4 vols. 8vo. 1765. 


r " x~ ~ " ■» 



Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford, was descended 
from a very ancient family in Yorkshire, and was eldest 
son of Sir William Wentworth, of Wentworth Wood- 
house, in that county, Bart, by Anne, daughter of Robert 
Atkinson, of Stowell, in the county of Gloucester. He 
was born April 13, 1593, in Chancery-Lane, London, 
in the house of Mr. Atkinson, his grandfather, and 
educated in St. John's College, Cambridge. In the year 
1611, he married the Lady Margaret, eldest daughter of 
Francis, Earl of Cumberland, and was knighted ; and the 
same year travelled into France. On his return to Eng- 
land, he was chosen to serve in parliament, as knight of 
the shire for the county of York ; and his father dying in 
1614, he succeeded to the title of Bart. In 1622, his 
lady dying, he again married Lady Arabella Holies, 
younger daughter of the Earl of Clare, a lady highly 
accomplished in mind and person. He married a third 
time, in 1631, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Godfrey Rhones. 

His name occurs early in the annals of the unfortunate 
Charles I. and Wentworth, so celebrated for his loyalty 
and devotion to his sovereign, was at first one of the most 
eager to oppose the measures of his government. In the 
House of Commons he associated himself with those who 
were most conspicuous for their uncommon capacity, and 
the extent of their views. Animated with a warm regard 
for liberty, they saw, with regret, an unbounded power 
exercised by the crown, and were resolved to seize the 
opportunity which the king's necessities offered them, of 
reducing the prerogative within a more reasonable com- 

STRAFFORD. [England. 

pass. Though their ancestors had blindly yielded to 
practices and precedents favorable to the royal power, 
and had yet been able to preserve some small remains of 
liberty, it appeared to them impossible, while all these 
pretensions were methodised and prosecuted by the 
increasing knowledge of the age, to maintain any shadow 
of popular government, in opposition to such unlimited 
authority in the sovereign. It was necessary to make a 
choice, either to abandon entirely the privileges of the 
people, or to secure them by firmer and more precise 
barriers, than the constitution had hitherto provided for 
them. Men of their aspiring genius and independent 
fortunes, could not long deliberate. They boldly em- 
braced the side of freedom, and resolved to grant no 
supplies to their necessitous prince, without extorting 
concessions in favor of civil liberty. The end, they con- 
ceived, sufficient and noble ; the means, regular and 
constitutional. To grant or refuse supplies, was the 
undoubted privilege of the Commons ; and as all human 
governments, particularly those of a mixed nature, are in 
continual fluctuation, it was natural and allowable, in 
their opinion, for popular assemblies to take advantage of 
favorable incidents, in order to secure the liberties of the 
subject. With pleasure, therefore, they beheld the king 
involved in difficulties, which promised to render him, 
every year, more dependent upon the parliament. 

Sir Thomas Wentworth, at first, favored these senti- 
ments with a characteristic warmth and cordiality which 
gave considerable umbrage to the court. In 1625, he 
was made sheriff of Yorkshire, in order to prevent his 
serving in parliament ; and in May, 1627, was committed 
a prisoner to the Marshalsea, by the Lords of the Council, 
for refusing his sanction to the royal loan, and afterwards 
confined at Dartford, in Kent> but was released after a 


few months imprisonment. In the parliament which 
began to sit in 1 628, he served again as knight for his 
own county, and exerted himself again, with great vigour, 
against the administration of the government, insisting 
upon the petition of rights, and proposing, what passed 
into a resolution of the house, that the redress of 
grievances, and the granting of supplies, should go hand 
in hand. There was a bold and manly style of eloquence 
in those days, with a simplicity of diction and an energy 
in their complaints, which render their debates highly 
interesting, and some specimens, we persuade ourselves, 
will not be unpleasing to our readers. " I read," said 
Sir Robert Philips, " among the old Romans, that once 
every year they held a solemn festival, in which their 
slaves had liberty, without exception, to speak what they 
pleased, in order to ease their afflicted minds ; and on the 
conclusion of the festival, the slaves severally returned to 
their former servitude. This institution may, with some 
exceptions, well set forth our present state and condition. 
After the revolution of some time, and the grievous 
sufferance of many violent oppressions, we have now 
obtained, for a day, some liberty of speech. Yet, what 
new burthens our estates and persons have groaned under, 
my heart yearns to think of, and my tongue faulters to 
utter." After indignantly enumerating the illegal judg- 
ments passed within his memory, the new and unwarrant- 
able impositions, and the many arbitrary imprisonments, 
he proceeded, " I can live, though another who has no 
right, be put to live along with me ; nay, I can live, 
though burthened with impositions beyond what at pre- 
sent I labour under; but, to have my liberty, which is 
the soul of my life, ravished from me — to have my person 
pent up in a jail, without relief by laWj, and to be so 
adjudged, — O improvident ancestors! O unwise fore- 
fathers ! to be so curious in providing for the quiet pos- 

STRAFFORD. [englanh, 

session of our lands, and the liberties of parliament, and 
at the same time, to neglect our personal liberty, and let 
us lie in prison ; and that during pleasure, without 
redress or remedy ! If this be law, why do we talk of 
liberty ? Why trouble ourselves with disputes about a 
constitution, franchises, property of goods, and the like ? 
What may any man call his own, if not the liberty of his 
person ? I am weary of treading these ways.'' Sir 
Thomas Wentworth, after reprobating the folly and the 
tyranny of the ministers, added, " These have introduced 
a privy council, ravishing, at once, the spheres of all 
ancient government, destroying all liberty, imprisoning 
us without bail or bond. They have taken from us — 
what shall I say ? Indeed, what have they left us ? By 
tearing up the roots of all property, they have taken 
from us every means of supplying the king, and of 
ingratiating ourselves, by voluntary proofs of our duty 
and attachment towards him. To the making whole all 
these breaches, I shall apply myself; and to all these 
diseases, shall propound a remedy. By one and the same 
thing have the king and the people been hurt, and by 
the same must they be cured. We must vindicate — 
what ? New things ? No ; our ancient, legal, and vital 
liberties, by reinforcing the laws enacted by our ancestors ; 
by setting such a stamp upon them, that no licentious 
spirit shall dare, henceforth, to invade them. And shall we 
think this a way to break a parliament ? No ; our desires 
are moderate and just. I speak both for the interest of 
the king and people. If we enjoy not these rights, it will 
be impossible for us to relieve him. Let us, therefore, 
never doubt of a favorable reception from his goodness. 59 
How superior was such native and spontaneous eloquence 
to the mechanical speech-making of modern times ! 

It may be perceived, however, that the language of 


Wentworth, though bold and manly, is of a less republi- 
can cast than that of Philips, and more favorable to the 
king. In fact, in less than a year from the date of these 
memorable harangues, his opinions underwent a total 
change, and he became as firm a pillar of the throne, as 
he had before been strenuous on the popular side. "Whe- 
ther he suspected his former associates of already aiming 
at the subversion of the regal government, a measure 
productive only of anarchy and confusion, or whether he 
was unable to resist the flattering offers of the court, 
are points which at this distance of time, it is not easy 
to develope. It has always been the maxim of princes, 
whenever popular leaders encroach too much on royal 
authority, to confer offices on them, in expectation that 
they will afterwards become more careful not to diminish 
that power which has become their own. But the views 
of the king were at that time so repugnant to those. of 
the puritans, that the leaders whom he gained, lost from 
that moment all interest with their party, and were 
even pursued as traitors with implacable hatred and 
resentment. Thus it was with Wentworth, when Charles 
created him Baron, then Viscount Wentworth, and 
finally, Earl of Strafford; appointed him president of 
the council of York, and deputy of Ireland, and 
regarded him as his chief minister and counsellor. By 
his talents and abilities, Strafford merited all the 
confidence which his master reposed in him. His 
character was stately and austere, more adapted to 
procure esteem than love. His fidelity to the king was 
unshaken, but as he now employed all his counsels in 
supporting that prerogative which he had formerly so 
strenuously endeavoured to lessen, his public virtue 
seems not to have been entirely pure, but to have been 
susceptible of strong impressions from private interest 
and personal ambition. 

STRAFFORD. [englanb, 

Ireland was the theatre on which he principally 
displayed the resources of his genius, and rendered the 
most essential services to his sovereign. His lieutenancy^ 
which continued eight years, was marked by vigilance, 
activity, and prudence : he paid off a large arrear due 
before his arrival, and discharged all the salaries, civil 
and military, besides advancing considerable sums to 
the king, without any charge to England. He restored 
the rights of the church, he established English laws, 
reformed the army, discharged the debts of the crown, 
secured the seas, and paid the utmost attention to 
commerce and trade. But unfortunately, these measures, 
however salutary and praise-worthy, were not attended 
with popularity. In a nation so averse to the English 
government and religion, his very virtues were sufficient 
to draw on him the public hatred. The manners and 
character of this great man, though to all full of courtesy, 
and to his friends affectionate and endearing, were in 
general, rigid, haughty, and severe. His authority, and 
influence, during the period of his government, were 
unlimited ; but no sooner had adversity seized him, than 
the concealed aversion of the nation blazed up at once, 
and the Irish parliament used every expedient to 
aggravate the charges, which he was soon fated to 

From this unenviable though honourable post, he was 
summoned, in 1639, by the king, to assist him in his 
design of subduing the Scots. In the management of 
the affairs of Scotland, the conduct of Charles had been 
marked by weakness and inconsistency : yielding when 
he ought to have commanded ; issuing the most arbitrary 
edicts, without providing himself with the means of 
enforcing them, he alternately excited tenor and con- 
tempt. With all the respect due to his private virtues,, 

England.] STRAFFORD. 

with all the compassion which his melancholy fate 
exacts from those who peruse the disastrous annals of 
his reign, it is impossible wholly to clear him from those 
charges of insincerity, and even dissimulation, which 
were so frequently urged against him. When, at length, 
the increasing disturbances of the north compelled him 
to raise an army for the support of his authority, such 
was his comparative penury, that he was obliged to have 
recourse to a mode of supply which must have been 
extremely grating to a generous mind. He was under 
the necessity of borrowing large sums from his ministers 
and courtiers, and so much was he beloved by them, 
that the loan greatly exceeded his expectation. By 
these means he was enabled to raise an army of 19,000 
foot, and 2,000 horse, of which the Earl of Strafford, 
assuming a military character, was appointed lieutenant- 
general under the Earl of Northumberland. But some 
trifling successes of the Scotch covenanters dispirited the 
royal forces, and compelled the king, against the opinion 
of Strafford, to consent to a proposal for a treaty and 
suspension of arms. That high-spirited nobleman, who 
possessed more vigour of mind than the king or any of 
his council, advised him to put all to the hazard of a 
battle, rather than submit to such unworthy terms as 
were likely to be imposed upon him ; " for, should your 
majesty," he observed, "even be defeated, nothing worse 
can befal you, than what, from your inactivity, you will 
certainly feel." These prophetic words seem to have 
been dictated by the most infallible of all inspirations, 
that intuitive discernment of a penetrating genius, habi- 
tuated to the contemplation of human affairs, which 
enables it to look into futurity. But Charles, in despair 
of being able to stem the torrent, resolved to yield to it, 
and for once, refused to follow the more spirited, and 
perhaps, more prudent advice of his minister. 

STKAFFORD. [england. 

But it was the fate of Strafford to atone, in his own 
person, for all the errors and misfortunes of his unhappy 
sovereign. By a concurrence of accidents, he lahoured 
under the severe hatred of all the three nations which 
composed the British monarchy. The Scots, whose 
authority now ran extremely high, considered him as 
the capital enemy of their country, and one whose 
counsels and influence they had most reason to appre- 
hend. He had engaged the parliament of Ireland to 
advance large subsidies, in order to support a war against 
them ; he had levied an army of 9000 men, with which he 
had menaced all their western coast. He had compelled 
the Scots, who lived under his government, to renounce 
the covenant ; he had proclaimed the covenanters traitors 
and rebels, even before the king had issued any declara- 
tion against them in England ; and he had dissuaded his 
master against a treaty and suspension of arms, which he 
looked upon as dangerous and dishonorable. We have 
already seen, that in Ireland his personal deportment 
had rendered him exceedingly unpopular, notwithstand- 
ing the vigour, the wisdom, and the success of his public 
measures. In England, the discontent and fury of the 
puritans was universal and loud against him, though 
without any particular reason, except his being the min- 
ister of state whom the king most favored and trusted. 
His extraction was too honorable, his private fortune 
too considerable, for them to attribute his devotion to the 
service of his master to motives less worthy than those of 
loyalty and attachment. But envy had attended his 
sudden and splendid elevation. His former associates, 
finding that he owed his advancement to the desertion 
of their cause, represented him as the great apostate of 
the common wealth, whom it behoved them to sacrifice 
as a victim to public justice. With malignant and 
unrelenting perseverance, they attacked, and finally 



destroyed the seceder from their own violent and per- 
nicious counsels, ralher than the minister, whose 
uncommon vigour and capacity extorted their esteem. 

The genius of Strafford appears, at length, to have sunk 
under this accumulated odium and injustice. He would 
willingly have returned to Ireland, to shelter his head 
from the danger which menaced it ; but his talents were 
too necessary for the king's service, in the critical session 
of parliament which now approached. In vain did he 
represent the danger of his appearing among so many 
enraged enemies. The king promised him protection, 
and assured him that not a hair of his head should be 
touched by the parliament. So little did this unhappy 
monarch then foresee the near subversion of his own 
authority — and that, as a fatal and most convincing 
proof of it, he was so soon to sign the death-warrant of the 
man whom he thus pledged his royal word to support. 

No sooner had the earl arrived in London, than a 
concerted attack was made upon him in the House of 
Commons. Pym,in along and studied oration, enumerated 
all the grievances under which the nation labored, from 
which he inferred an intention in the minister of sub- 
verting the form of government, and the ancient laws and 
liberties of the kingdom ; some instances of imperious 
expressions and actions he also cited ; and entering into 
a more personal attack on the minister, endeavoured to 
expose his private character and manners. It should 
seem, that the austere genius of Strafford, occupied in 
the pursuits of ambition, had not rendered his breast 
altogether inaccessible to the tender passions, or secured 
him from the dominion of the fair sex — and, in that 
sullen age, the irregularities of pleasure were more 
reproachful than the most odious crimes. Nothing more 
effectually proves the absence of any criminal act in the 

STRAFFORD. [englani>. 

administration of Strafford, than that the popular orator 
of the commons should thus have had recourse to charges 
of so personal and private a nature. But the torrent of 
prejudice against him was irresistible — his impeachment 
was voted — immediately carried up to the Lords — and 
Strafford, who had just entered the House of Peers, little 
expecting so speedy a prosecution, was ordered into 
custody, with every mark of animosity in his judges, as 
well as in his prosecutors. 

An accusation, carried on by the united efforts of three 
kingdoms against one man, unprotected by power, unas- 
sisted by counsel, and discountenanced by authority, was 
likely to prove a very unequal contest ; yet such was the 
capacity, genius, and presence of mind, displayed by this 
magnanimious statesman, that, while argument, and 
reason, and law, were attended to, he obtained an 
undisputed victory — and he perished at last,overwhelmed, 
but still unsubdued, by the open and undisguised 
violence of his fierce and unrelenting antagonists^ 
Though four months were employed in framing the 
twenty-eight articles of his impeachment, and though 
all Strafford's answers were unpremeditated and extem- 
porary, it appears, upon examination, not only that he 
was free from the crime of treason, of which there is not 
the least appearance, but that his conduct, making 
allowance for human infirmities, was innocent, and even 
laudable. He repelled the accusation of treason to 
the state with successful argument — victoriously refuted 
every charge, mixing modesty and humility with firmness 
and vigour — and under any other judges, and in better 
times, must necessarily have been acquitted. He thus 
pathetically concluded a long and able speech, previous 
to the sentence being passed by his peers : — " My lords, 
I have now troubled your lordships a great deal longer 
than I should have done. Were it not for the interest oi 


those pledges, which a saint in heaven has left me, I 
should be loth" — here he pointed to his children, 
oppressed by tears — "What I forfeit for myself is 
nothing — but, I confess, that my indiscretion should 
forfeit for them, wounds me very deeply. You will be 
pleased to pardon my infirmity — something I should have 
said — but, I see I shall not be able, and therefore I shall 
leave it. And now, my lords, I thank God, I have been 
by his blessing sufficiently instructed in the extreme 
vanity of all temporary enjoyments, compared to our 
eternal duration. And so, my lords, even so, with all 
humility, and with all tranquillity of mind, I submit, 
clearly and freely, to your judgments ; and whether that 
righteous doom shall be life or death, I shall repose 
myself, full of gratitude and confidence, in the arms of 
the great Author of my existence." — " Certainly," says 
Whitlocke, (and the remark, coming from an enemy of 
Strafford, is conclusive, as to the character and innocence 
of the fallen minister) " never any man acted such a 
part on such a theatre, with more wisdom, constancy, 
and eloquence, with greater reason, judgment, and 
temper, and with a better grace in all his words and 
actions, than did this great and excellent person — and 
he moved the hearts of all his auditors, some few excepted, 
to remorse and pity.'' 

But these atrocious few prevailed— a small majority of 
those of his peers, who could be induced, by threats or 
persuasions, to attend on the last day of his trial, 
adjudged him guilty, and nothing remained but to extort 
the king's consent. The situation of Charles was painful 
in the extreme. He must either sacrifice a man whom 
he knew to be innocent, and whose only crime was the 
most implicit devotion to his person and authority — or, 
by surrendering this illustrious victim to the fury of his 
enemies, prevent, if possible, the horrors of a civil war, 

STRAFFORD. [englanr 

The queen, who, it is said, had never favored Strafford, 
terrified with the apprehension of so mighty a danger, 
was in tears, and pressed him to satisfy his people in this 
demand, which, it was hoped, would finally content them. 
Juxon alone, the pious Bishop of London, whose courage 
was not inferior to his other virtues, advised him, if in 
his conscience he did not approve of the bill for the exe- 
cution of Strafford, by no means to assent to it. Straf- 
ford himself, apprised of this irresolution in his royal 
master, took a very extraordinary step, which, if his 
motives could be as easily authenticated, as they are 
apparently great and magnanimious, would have raised 
his character to as high a pitch of virtue as it is possible 
for human nature to attain, and ranked his name with 
the self-devoted Decii of old. He wrote a letter, in 
which he intreated the king, for the sake of public 
peace, to put an end to his unfortunate, though innocent 
life. " In this," added he, " my consent will more acquit 
you to God, than all the world besides. To a willing man 
there is no injury — and as, by God's grace, I forgive all 
the world, with a calmness and meekness, of infinite 
contentment to my dislodging soul — So, Sir, to you I 
can resign the life of this world, with all imaginable 
cheerfulness, in the just acknowledgment of your 
exceeding favors." Perhaps, he hoped that this unusual 
instance of magnanimity would engage the king still 
more strenuously to protect him. — Perhaps, surrounded 
as he was by enemies, he absolutely despaired of escaping 
the dangers by which he was every way environed. 
Such a step was not unworthy of the great mind of 
Strafford, and he was certainly capable of so noble an 
act of disinterestedness — but we are compelled to add, 
that when Carleton informed him of the final resolution 
which necessity had extorted from the king, he started? 
seemed surprised, and exclaimed in the words of 
the scripture — Put not your trust in princes^ nor in the 

England.] STRAFFORD. 

lions of men, for in them there is no salvation. He, how- 
ever, soon recalled his courage, and prepared for death. 

In passing from his apartments to Tower-hill, where 
the scaffold was erected, he stopped under the windows 
of Laud, who was then in confinement, under a similar 
charge of treason, and entreated the assistance of his 
prayers in those awful moments. The aged primate, dis- 
solved in tears, and having pronounced, with a faultering 
voice, a tender blessing on his departing friend, sunk 
into the arms of his attendants. Strafford, still superior 
to his fate, moved on with an elated countenance, and 
with an air even of greater dignity than usually attended 
him. His discourse on the scaffold was full of decency 
and courage. " He feared," he said, u that the omen was 
bad for the intended reformation of the state, that it 
commenced with the shedding of innocent blood." 
Having bid a last adieu to his brother, who attended 
him, and sent a blessing to his children, who were 
absent, — " And now," said he, " I have nigh done ! one 
stroke will make my wife a widow, my dear children 
orphans, deprive my poor servants of an indulgent master, 
and separate me from an affectionate brother, and all my 
friends. But let God be to you, and them, all in all." 
Going to disrobe, and prepare himself for the block, " I 
thank God," said he, " that I am nowise afraid of death, 
nor am daunted with any terrors, but do as cheerfully lay 
down my head, at this time, as ever I did when going to 
repose.'' At one blow a period was put to his existence. 

Thus perished in the 49th year of his age, one of the 
most eminent persons that have appeared in England. 
His character, as might be Expected, has been severely 
handled by our zealous republican writers ; but by none 
has it been more completely mangled than by the late 
Mrs. Macauley, who, in her democratic rage, allows him 

STRAFFORD. [england. 

neither virtue nor talents. But his abilities, as a states- 
man, and his unshaken attachment to his master, were the 
chief causes of his ruin ; and in the subsequent proceed- 
ings of that parliament, to whose vindictive resentment 
he fell a sacrifice, may be found the best apology for his 
administration. A certain degree of vigour, and more 
perhaps than Strafford exerted, was necessary to preserve 
the church and monarchy from the ravages of those civil 
and religious enthusiasts who soon overturned both. 
Though his death was loudly demanded as a satisfaction 
to justice, and an atonement for some violations of the 
constitution, it may be safely affirmed, that the sentence 
by which he fell was an enormity greater than the worst 
of those which his implacable enemies prosecuted with so 
much cruel industry. The people, in their rage had totally 
mistaken the proper object of their resentment ; all the 
necessities, or, more properly speaking, the difficulties by 
which the king had been induced to use violent expedients 
for raising his supplies, were the result of measures pre- 
vious to Strafford's advancement ; and if they arose from 
ill conduct, he at least was entirely innocent. Even those 
violent expedients themselves, which occasioned the 
complaint that the constitution was subverted, had been 
all of them conducted, so far as appeared, without his 
counsel or assistance. And whatever his private advice 
might be, he failed not to inculcate in the king's presence 
the salutary maxim, that if any inevitable necessity ever 
compelled the sovereign to violate the laws, this license 
ought to be practised with extreme reserve, and, as soon 
as possible, a just atonement be made to the constitution, 
for any injury which it might sustain from such danger- 
ous precedents. The first parliament after the restora- 
tion reversed the bill of attainder ; and even a few weeks 
after Strafford's execution, the very parliament which had 
condemned him, remitted to his children the more severe 
consequences of his sentence, as if conscious of the 
violence with which the prosecution had been conducted* 

' ■ ''i.-R ■',.,y'/,\t M- T'<-.~,,ir^'jj,i X- ■f'<i;-pr;I;u,u'7r,2j.?0'; 


Teniers was one of those privileged men whom 
nature so very rarely produces. His father, David 
Teniers, a skilful painter and a pupil of Rubens, was 
surnamed the old, to distinguish him from his son, and 
first introduced him into that career in which he was 
destined to excel. 

There are few of the Flemish painters that have done 
greater honor to that celebrated school than Teniers, 
if we except Rubens and Vandyck. It was from the 
works of the first of those painters, that Teniers derived 
that truth of design and admirable greatness of coloring, 
for which he is so remarkable. He is, in fact, Rubens 
in miniature ; there is the same mind, the same vigour ; 
but he has better knowledge of the chiaro-scuro, than 
the great man whom he had proposed as his model. 

His wonderfully retentive memory enabled him to 
retrace the objects which had once attracted his notice. 
By a simple sketch with the light touch of genius, he 
had the art of representing what to others was a work of 
serious difficulty and labor; yet there are few painters 
that have more faithfully imitated nature than Teniers. 
No one has excelled him in the neatness of his touch, 
and the clear transparency of his coloring. No one 
knew better how to give to every object its appropriate 
features and dress ; no one had a more original genius, 
or possessed a greater combination of talents. His light 
and easy hand seemed to play with his art, and only to 
skim the canvass, upon which so many charming scenes 


placed themselves without effort or labor — a simple 
ground, a light level, and the most delicate touches, 
produce the effect commonly observable in his pictures. 

He was the most prolific of painters. Europe is filled 
with his name and his works. It was in allusion to this 
extreme facility of execution, that connoisseurs have 
proverbially called his little pieces the after -suppers of 

Antwerp, that city so fruitful in illustrious artists, had 
the honor of giving him birth in 1610. There he passed 
the greater part of his life, beloved and esteemed as a 
man of virtue, as well as of extraordinary talents. For 
sometime, however, after he commenced painter, his 
merit was so little regarded, that he was often under the 
necessity of going in person to Brussels to dispose of his 
own pictures, as well as those that were painted by his 
disciples, and was as often mortified to find the paintings 
of Tilburg Artois, Van Heil, and others, preferred to his 
own, although they were in every respect greatly inferior. 
Fortune at length smiled on his labor, and by the sweet- 
ness of his conduct, and the amenity of his manners, 
opened to himself an easy access to the greatest men of 
his time. He was equally beloved and considered by his 
cotemporary artists, and was by them elected director of 
the academy at Antwerp. 

The painting-room of this eminent artist was the 
rendezvous of all the distinguished personages in Flan- 
ders. The Archduke Leopold William made him Gentle- 
man of his Chamber, and presented him with his por- 
trait, enriched with diamonds. Christian of Sweden 
made him a similar present. The King of Spain had so 
high an opinion of his merit, that he constructed a 


gallery, destined solely for the works of Terriers. Louis 
the Fourteenth, however, who had a view in general to 
something great, used to say, when the persons who 
bought pictures for him attempted to introduce any of 
Teniers' into his collection, in allusion to the little miser- 
able human figures with which they abound, Qu'on 
mote ces magois de devant mes yeux" Take away from 
my sight those little baboons. 

He afterwards quitted Antwerp, and inhabited a small 
castle called The Three Towers, in the village of Perch, 
between Antwerp and Malines. By retiring thither, he 
wished to shun the great world, and devote himself to 
his prevailing taste in the study and imitation of nature. 
It was in mixing in the games of the inhabitants of the 
village, that he sketched so many rural scenes ; and his 
memory even fled to retrace the sports in which he had 
himself been a performer. The vivacity of his mind did 
not permit him to dwell long on each separate picture. 

Teniers, in quitting Antwerp, had hoped to withdraw 
himself from the conflux of his admirers ; but fame, 
which always accompanies extraordinary merit, attracted 
to his retreat a still greater crowd. It became, at length, 
a sort of court, to which the nobility frequently resorted. 
Don Juan, of Austria, often lodged at his house, and 
desired to be admitted in the number of his pupils. He 
removed, at length, to Brussels, where he attained to a 
very advanced age, without losing, for a moment, the joy 
and lively humor that had always distinguished him. 
Death surprised him as he held the pencil in his hand. 
He was then finishing the portrait of a lawyer ; and his 
last words were, in humorous allusion to this circum- 
stance : " I have burnt," said he, " my last tooth, in 
painting this lawyer.'' 


The paintings of Teniers are remarkable for their great 
variety of composition, their abundance of figures with- 
out confusion, the correctness of style, and that originality 
of design which belonged only to him Every style of 
painting was familiar to him ; battles, marches of armies, 
animals, the sea, all appeared to receive new life under 
the hands of this inimitable artist. He had formed a 
handsome collection of pictures of the different schools, 
particularly of the Venetian, the coloring of which he 
admired and successfully imitated. 

Teniers had a ready and lively invention, and was full 
as ready to execute as to invent ; he made nature his 
model perpetually, and imitated it with astonishing 
exactness and truth. His pencil is free and delicate ; 
the touching of his trees is light and firm ; his skies are 
admirable, and although not very much varied, are clear 
and brilliant. And as to the expression of his figures, 
whether they are mirthful or grave, in anger or in good 
humor, nothing can be more strongly marked, more 
striking or natural. His pictures are generally clear in 
all their parts, with a beautiful transparence ; and it is 
observed of them, by several writers, that he possessed 
the art of relieving his lights by other lights, without 
employing deep shadows, and yet produced the intended 
effect in a very surprising manner. That method of 
practice, it is thought, was derived from an observation 
communicated to him by Rubens, which was, that strong 
oppositions were not always necessary to produce a fine 
effect in a picture ; and that observation Rubens knew 
infallibly to be just, from his shading the coloring and 
tints of Titian with accuracy and judgment. 

His principal subjects are landscapes, with small 
figures, Corps de Garde, merry makings, kirmesses, fairs. 


shooting at butts, playing at bowls, and the diversions, 
sports, or occupations of villagers; but any of those 
subjects which he painted on a small size, are, by many 
degrees, preferable to those of larger dimensions. Con- 
noisseurs have objected to the compositions of Teniers, 
that his figures are too short and clumsy, and that there 
appears too much sameness in the countenances and 
habits ; but it ought to be considered, that as he designed 
every object after nature, and formed his colors from that 
nature with which he was most conversant, he may 
indeed be thought not to have given an elegance to his 
forms equal to the Italian ideas of elegance. But of 
such elegance as appeared in his models, there is suffi- 
cient to demonstrate the goodness of his choice, and the 
most exact precision in every character and every expres- 
sion ; and the incredible prices which are given for the 
paintings of this master, in every part of Europe, are an 
incontestible evidence of the universal esteem and 
admiration of his works. 

Some amateurs have censured him for the greyish 
color which predominates in some of his pieces ; but this 
may perhaps be considered as a merit in Teniers, as 
it gives to his pictures a clearness and greatness which 
cannot but please the eye. 

Teniers, whose life was a calm and uninterrupted 
course of real enjoyments, expired in 1694. 

" The works of David Teniers, jun.'' says Sir Joshua 
Reynolds, " are worthy of the closest attention of a painter 
who desires to excel in the mechanical knowledge of his 
art. His manner of touching, or what we call handling, 
has, perhaps, never been excelled ; there is in his pictures 
that exact mixture of softness and sharpness, which is 
difficult to execute." 


The author of the " Essay on the Life and Writings 
t>f Poussin," makes the following remark on the painters 
of the Flemish school. " Those artists tell us, that they 
love nature, that they copy nature, and that it is nature 
which is to be seen always in their works. Alas ! what 
signifies to me a group of twenty common heads ? It is 
an able character, age, and expression, that I desire : it 
is the finesse, the gravity, the majesty of a head, that I 
am looking after. I don't like to see the lance of Achilles 
in a vulgar lean hand; though sometimes strength, lean- 
ness, and a small size, meet together. If a painter is to 
represent Pretarch at the feet of Laura, I would not have 
him make her ugly, though I know she was so in reality. 
Posterity, which knows nothing of great men but by 
their actions that are worthy of it, and whose imagina- 
tion is animated and exalted iu thinking of Scipio, 
Brutus, and Caesar, is shocked at seeing them exhibited 
under Flemish figures ; and disgusted when the painter 
gives them the awkwardness of a heavy Dutch peasant, 
or Burgomaster of Amsterdam." 



r ~ : ~~~~= 


The pupil, and sometimes the rival of Rubens, Van* 
dyck deservedly maintains the second rank among the 
painters of the Flemish school. Rubens undoubtedly 
possessed a more ardent genius and a more fertile ima- 
gination ; he designed with more classical skill, and 
displayed greater vigour of expression and command of 
pencil. Vandyck, gifted with milder qualities, attracts 
numerous admirers by the softness of his coloring, the 
naivete of his characters, the delicacy of his touch, and 
his management of the chiaro-scuro. His celebrity 
arises chiefly from the excellence of his portraits, which 
branch of the art he has carried to such perfection, that 
there is no other painter, if we except Titian, that will 
bear a comparison with him. 

Antwerp had again the honor of giving birth to this 
eminent painter, on the twenty-second of March, 1599. 
His father possessed some skill in painting on glass, and 
his mother excelled in embroidery. His inclination for 
painting was easily perceived, and he was placed under 
the Tuition of Henry Van Balen, who had spent some- 
time in Italy, and had studied under the greatest masters. 
But the young pupil soon surpassed his companions, and 
rivalled Van Balen. This early discovery of his own 
powers, and the high celebrity of Rubens, made him 
earnestly desire to place himself under the guidance of 
that illustrious man. Rubens readily received him, and 
foresaw his future excellence. He frequently gave him 


sketches of his own, which Vandyck finished in so 
masterly a style, and with so happy an imitation of 
Rubens' manner, that many of them have been con- 
sidered as the productions of that great painter. As a 
proof of his quickness in adopting the style of others, 
the following anecdote may be related. Rubens, after 
the labors of the day, was accustomed, towards the 
evening, to take the air. His pupils then sometimes 
obtained permission, from his old servant Valviken, to 
enter his cabinet, and examine his different sketches 
and his method of finishing his pieces. As they one 
day were too eagerly pressing forward to observe a 
picture, in which Rubens had been employed in the 
morning. Diepenbeke tumbled against the object of 
their curiosity, and effaced the arm of a Magdalen, and 
the cheek and chin of a Madona. The accident excited 
general alarm, and the whole school appeared lost in 
confusion and dismay, when John Van Hock exclaimed, 
" we have no time to lose — I must find some expedient 
to screen us from discovery ; let the most skilful among 
us sit down to the task, and endeavour to repair the 
mischief we have occasioned. I, for one, give my voice 
for Vandyck, the only one capable of succeeding." 
This was unanimously approved of. Vandyck alone 
hesitated ; but moved by their entreaties, as dreading 
himself the anger of Rubens, he complied, and performed 
his task so well, that the next day Rubens, on examin- 
ing the picture, said to his pupils, " that arm and head 
are among the best things I ever did." Many have 
asserted, that when Rubens was at length aprized of the 
circumstance, he effaced the whole ; while others main- 
tain that he suffered it to remain as Vandyck had finished 
it. The picture was the celebrated Descent from the 
Cross, in the church of our Lady, at Antwerp, and now 
in the museum at Paris. 


It has been industriously related, that Rubens at 
length discovered some jealousy of his illustrious pupil ; 
that to prevent any competition in the higher branches 
of the art, he advised Vandyck to apply more imme- 
diately to the painting of portraits, and to remove a 
pupil who might one day be his rival, he recommended 
to him to travel. But there appears to be no solid 
grounds for any such supposition. Vandyck might 
chuse to prefer portraits either as a source of greater 
emolument, or from a despair of equalling Rubens in 
subjects of higher interest. The advice to proceed to 
Italy, where he might improve himself by the daily 
examination of Titian and P. Veronese, was the counsel 
rather of a friend than of a master jealous of the success 
of his pupil. That Vandyck at least had no suspicion of 
such a motive, may be inferred from his presenting 
Rubens with an Ecce Homo, and another piece repre- 
senting our Saviour in the Garden of Olives. These 
were so highly esteemed by Rubens, that he placed them 
in his best apartment, and always bestowed upon them 
the most flattering applause. In return, he presented 
this ingenious author with one of the best horses in his 

Vandyck quitted Antwerp, with the intention of 
departing for Italy; but in the village of Savelthem, near 
Brussels, he was suddenly detained by the charms of a 
young maiden, at whose request he executed his cele- 
brated picture of St. Martin dividing his cloak with the 
mendicant. In this picture he painted himself upon the 
horse which had been given to him by Rubens. That 
great man gave another proof of his solicitude for the 
welfare of his pupil, by persuading him to renounce his 
rural intrigue, and reviving in his mind the desire of 
fame and distinction, which seemed likely to evaporate 


111 the obscurity of a village connection. Vandyck com- 
plied with regret, and having visited every part of Italy, 
stationed himself at Venice, where, in the daily study of 
the sublime productions of Titian and P. Veronese, he 
acquired that facility of outline and delicacy of manner 
which so uniformly distinguish him. But it was at 
Genoa that he displayed the superiority of his talents, 
that he gave to his tints all the freshness and harmony 
of nature, that he united in his portraits the perfection 
of the art, with the charms of truth. The artful simpli- 
city which appeared in all his pieces, attracted even 
those who were ignorant of the beauties they admired. 
A striking resemblance of features and of dress, made 
every one eager to obtain their portraits from him. His 
reputation and his emoluments augmented in due pro- 
portion, and induced him to remain a considerable time 
at Genoa ; but after having visited Rome and Sicily, he 
returned to his native country, where he exhibited his 
improvement and his proficiency in his celebrated 
picture of St. Augustine. 

It was about this time, if we may credit the relation 
of Vanbraker, that Rubens offered him the hand of his 
eldest daughter, an union which Vandyck civilly 
declined, by pleading a desire of returning to Rome ; 
but according to others, because he was passionately 
enamoured of the mother. 

The fame and prosperity of Vandyck were not unfre- 
quently disturbed by the jealous and envious criticisms 
of his cotemporaries, by all those arts of insidious com- 
petition, which too often molest greatness and increase 
the irritability of genius. If he was highly esteemed and 
warmly applauded by Rubens and other eminent judges, 
he was perpetually assailed by the insidious remarks and 


petty cavils of inferior artists. Disgusted by so many 
instances of folly and ingratitude among his countrymen, 
he went to the Hague where he not only painted the 
Prince and Princess of Orange and their children, but 
most of the nobility, ambassadors, and merchants of 
opulence. At length so high was the estimation in 
which he was held, that the demands for portraits 
became incessant, and he was at liberty to exact the 
most exorbitant prices, without any danger of offending 
or disgusting his customers. 

Attracted by the reputation which England then 
enjoyed, for its love of the fine arts, and its liberality to 
artists, he departed for London, and while in this country, 
painted some pictures worthy of the great fame he had 
acquired ; but extraordinary as it will now appear, he 
was miserably disappointed in his first expedition, and 
returned to Antwerp, highly disgusted with the little 
patronage he had received. To retrieve the time which 
he said he had lost in other countries, he signalized his 
return home by some of his best productions, such as a 
Crucifixion for the Capuchins of Dendermonde, a Christ 
for the Franciscans at Antwerp, and a St. Anthony for 
the Infanta of Spain. 

But some of his portraits having at length found their 
way to England, appeared to excite a general regret 
that greater regard had not been paid to such uncommon 
talents. The king himself, the unfortunate Charles the 
First, sent him a pressing invitation to his court. Van- 
dyck, who yet remembered his first unfavorable recep- 
tion, was not disposed at first to comply ; and it was 
only at the pressing solicitation of Sir Kenelm Digby, 
that he consented to accompany him. When introduced 
to the monarch, he was most graciously received, and 


presented with the royal portrait set in diamonds and a 
chain of gold : to this were soon added, the honor of 
knighthood and a considerable pension. He had besides 
apartments at Hampton Court, and in the palace of 
Eltham Vandyck repaid the bounty of the king by the 
industry with which he, in a short time, enriched the 
country with so many chef-d'ceuvres, and supplied the 
continual demands for portraits. 

The king often condescended to visit the artist, and 
took great delight in conversing with him. As Van- 
dyck was one day drawing his portrait, he complained 
in a low voice to the Duke of Norfolk, of the low state 
of his finances, and observing that the painter was 
listening, he said with a smile, " well Sir Anthony, and 
do you now know the want of five or six thousand 
guineas ?" " Sir," answered Vandyck, " an artist who 
keeps open table for his friends, and an open purse for 
his mistresses, must always be distressed for money." 
Another anecdote is related, which marks the easy terms 
on which he conversed with the family of Charles. His 
queen, Henrietta Maria, was distinguished by the uncom- 
mon beauty of her hands, and Vandyck was equally 
celebrated for the truth and skill with which he always 
painted those extremities. The queen observing that he 
paid more than usual attention to the hands, and scarcely 
noticed any thing else, asked him why he laboured more 
at them than at her face. "Because, Madam," said 
Vandyck, " from those beautiful hands, I expect a recom- 
pence worthy of the great queen to whom they belong." 
His portraits of the unfortunate Charles, his queen, and 
family, are very numerous. The king was always noted 
for a melancholy cast of countenance, even before the 
calamities of his reign might so justly have occasioned it; 
and it is observable, that all his portraits by Vandyck 



have more or less of this air, though they represent him 
handsomer than those of all other painters. 

Vandyck soon became extremely rich, but his expences 
were beyond reason, great and superfluous. His equi- 
pages were brilliant, his table sumptuously served, and 
open to every visitor ; and his establishment of servants 
and horses, equal to that of any nobleman of those days. 
But such were his gains, his price being £40 for a half, 
and £60 for a whole length,a sum then very considerable, 
that he might have maintained this extravagant style of 
living, had he not absurdly dissipated his money and his 
time in the pursuits of alchymy. He built a laboratory 
at a great expence, and the gold, hardly and honorably 
earned by his pencil, was soon evaporated in the crucible. 
The fumes from the coal, and the grief at finding him- 
self disappointed in his attempts, at length occasioned an 
illness, which increasing by the irregularity of his life, 
appeared likely to terminate in death. 

His friend, the Duke of Buckingham, desirous of 
restoring his exhausted health, persuaded him to discard 
his mistresses ; and under the sanction of the king, he 
was married to the daughter of the Earl of Gowran, a 
nobleman of Scotland. But Maria Ruthven, who was 
one of the handsomest women of the court, had no other 
portion but her beauty and the name of an illustrious 
family, ruined by the disgrace of her father. With 
her, he went to Antwerp, on a visit to his own family 
and friends ; and from thence to Paris, with the inten- 
tion of offering himself to paint the great Gallery of 
the Louvre ; but he found himself supplanted by Poussin, 
and after a residence of only two months, he returned to 
London. His wife was delivered of a daughter, but Van- 
dyck did not long survive her birth. Overcome by 


weakness, and exhausted by the different remedies 
prescribed to him, he sunk into a species of phthisis. 
The king, afflicted by his melancholy state, offered 300 
guineas to his physician if he could cure him. But 
nature in him was entirely extinct, and it was not in 
the power of medicine to restore him. He expired 
in 1641, and was honorably interred in the cathedral 
church of St. Paul. He left only one daughter, Justina, 
who was married to Sir John Stephney, a gentleman 
of Wales. His widow remarried to Sir Richard 
Price, of Coguthan, in Cardiganshire ; but she died soon 

When we consider the number of admirable works 
executed by Vandyck, we cannot but be struck with the 
wonderful facility which he displayed. It is well known y 
that he would begin a head in the morning, that he 
generally retained to dinner the person who sat to him, 
and in the afternoon finished the picture. He was sel- 
dom observed to retouch the same piece after the first 
day. His latter pieces, therefore, discover a carelessness 
and want of finish, which have diminished their value. 
He was often reproached for this negligence by his 
friends, who desired him to compare them with what he 
had done in his youth. He would say, " I know there 
is a great difference between them, and you need not be 
surprised at it. In the former part of my life, I painted 
for fame — I now work only for my kitchen." His best 
portrait in England, is that of the Earl of Stafford, at 
Wentworth House. He gave to his head, an appear- 
ance of nature and truth that could not be surpassed — 
he excelled equally in painting the hands : his attitudes 
were simple and judiciously chosen. Though it has 
been usual mostly to consider Vandyck as a portrait 
painter, yet in some of his historical pieces, he has 


nearly approached his great master. He had less of 
genius and fire, but many of his pictures display a 
considerable share of both. Had he not devoted himself 
to portraits, and more frequently applied to general 
subjects, he might have equalled Rubens, 'whom he 
excelled in the delicacy of his tints, and the vivacity 
of his colours. This was acknowledged even by his 
enemies, at the exibition of the picture which he 
painted for the church at Antwerp. But it is now 
useless to conjecture what he might have been : it is 
sufficient to observe, that though he excelled Rubens in 
portraits, he was much inferior to him in some historical 

" De Piles," speaking of the merits of Rubens, 
observes, " that of all the scholars of that excellent man, 
Vandyck was he who profited most by his master's 
instructions ; and in extolling Rubens, one must needs 
pay a particular regard to this illustrious disciple, since, 
if he had not so much genius as his master in grand 
compositions, he surpassed him in certain delicacies of 
his art ; and it is evident that, in general, his portraits 
have a softness and freedom of penciling beyond any 
thing else in that way." 

The most capital of the works of Vandyck are in 
England. At Blenheim, the portrait of King Charles I. 
in armour, on a dun horse ; at Brighton, a whole length 
in armour ; at Hampton court, the king in armour on a 
white horse, his equerry holding his helmet ; at Kensing- 
ton, George Villiers, second Duke of Buckingham, and 
Lord Francis, his brother ; and at Wilton, the Pembroke 
family, a most capital performance. In the collection 
of the late Duke of Orleans, now dispersed, there was 
an admirable picture by Vandyck ; it is a whole length 



of M(ary de Medicis, which is finished as highly as the 
power of art could reach ; it shows at once the strength 
of Rubens, and almost the colouring of Titian ; the 
manner of it is, in the highest degree, noble, and it 
appears equally easy and natural : and many of the 
portraits of the nobility of England, which were painted 
by Vandyck, are not in any respect inferior to the 
celebrated portrait of Mary de Medicis. 

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The labours and opinions of Voltaire have engaged 
the attention of a whole century. His cotemporaries, in 
their estimation of his character and talents, were divided 
into two parties, his admirers and his enemies — equally 
warm in their panegyrics or censure, but not equally 
numerous. The French Revolution, with all its train of 
horrors, seems to have occurred expressly to pass sentence 
on his philosophical opinions. The excesses of that 
dreadful period have excited his adversaries to renew 
their attacks on his literary fame. Those who have been 
the victims of political changes, have risen against his 
memory with the utmost keenness of resentment ; and 
were we to listen to the language of passion or enthusiasm, 
which still animates every debate on the subject of this 
extraordinary man, it would be as difficult a task as ever 
to ascertain what rank in the estimation of mankind we 
are to place Voltaire, as a philosopher and as an author — 
the man whom Europe, and the sovereigns of Europe, 
have so much caressed in his lifetime ; on whose head the 
laurel of literature was placed from the stage, which, for 
sixty years, had resounded with his fame ; and to whom 
the people have since, in the enthusiasm of their admira- 
tion and zeal, decreed the splendid honor of apotheosis. 
That wonderful activity of mind and facility of genius, 
which produced such innumerable works, also exposed 
him to numberless difficulties, which alone might have 
filled the long existence of an ordinary man. But they 
have already been related in a variety of other publica- 
tions. We are contracted within narrower limits, though 
we shall omit nothing essential in this memoir of his life, 


Francis Maria Arouet, so celebrated under the name of 
Voltaire, which he derived from a small estate belonging 
to his mother, was born at Chatenai, near Paris, the 20th 
of February, 1694, of Francis Arouet, a notary belonging 
to the Chatelet, and treasurer of the Chambre des 
Comptes, and of Mary Margaret Daumart. Like Fon- 
tenelle, who lived a century, he was so feeble at his birth 
that his life was despaired of, and he was not baptized 
till nine months after, at the church of St. Andre-des 
Arcs. He commenced his studies at the college of Louis- 
le-Grand, and was early distinguished. One of the pro- 
fessors, F. Le lay, foretold that he would become the 
champion of deism in France. Such a prophecy might be 
easily made, without much sagacity or foresight : Voltaire 
at college already piqued himself upon his incredulity. 
For this propensity, he was indebted to the Abbe de 
Chateauneuf, his godfather, who had made him commit 
to memory the Mo'isade of Rousseau. The same abbe 
also introduced him to the celebrated Ninon de l'Enclos, 
who, pleased with his spirited sallies and the style of his 
poetry (in which he began to exert himself even at twelve 
years of age) bequeathed him a legacy of two thousand 
livres, for the purchase of books. In his old age he 
seemed disposed to evince his gratitude by writing his 
comedy of the Deposilaire, but his gratitude might have 
been more happily testified. The Abbe de Chateauneuf 
also procured him the acquaintance of the Duke de Sully, 
the Marquis de la Fare, the Abbe de Chaulieu, the Abbe 
Courtin, &c. a society of wits, at which the prince of 
Conde and the grand-prior of Vendome were often 
present. It was there that he acquired that exquisite 
vein of politeness, that natural and easy humour which 
embellished his lighter poetry, his correspondence, and 
his conversation. His father trembled for the future fate 
of a son who frequented noblemen and wits, and wrote 


verses. He requested M. de Chateauneuf, who was 
going ambassador from France to Holland, to take him 
in his suite. At the Hague, Voltaire became enamoured 
with the daughter of a Madame Dunoyer, a protestant 
refugee ; and the intrigue having occasioned some dis- 
turbance, he was sent back to his parents. As he con- 
tinued to write verses, and frequent high company, his 
father, still more irritated, banished him from home, and 
would not consent to his return, unless he entered the 
office of an attorney. In this situation he became 
acquainted with Thiriot, but soon left it. M. de Caumar- 
tin, a friend of his father, invited him to his seat at St. 
Ange. The father of M. de Caumartin, an enthusiastic 
admirer of the virtues and character of Henry IV. 
having enflamed the fancy of the young poet by his 
numerous anecdotes, he conceived the project of his 
Henriade, and was preparing to execute it when he was 
accused of being the author of a wicked satire, against 
the memory of Louis XIV. then lately deceased, and sent 
to the Bastille. He there began his poem, and finished 
the (Edipus. This tragedy had a prodigious run. It 
led to the only real passion which Voltaire ever felt. 
This amour, of which Madame de Villars was the object, 
appears to have had no other result but to make him ex- 
tremely unhappy, and negligent of his fortune. Artemise, 
which he produced two years after the (Edipus, was 
unlucky in its reception ; when it appeared again in 1724, 
under the title of Meriamne, with considerable altera- 
tions, it met with better success. In the interval Voltaire 
accompanied Madame de Rupelinonde to Holland ; and 
passing through Brussels he visited the exile Rousseau, 
whom he pitied and admired ; but they parted irrecon- 
cileable enemies. Soon after the Henriade made its 
appearance : Voltaire was enjoying its success, when an 
unexpected accident destroyed his peace, and even 


threatened his life. A powerful nobleman, highly 
offended by a sarcasm of Voltaire, caused him to be 
insulted by his servants. Voltaire was bent on revenge, 
but his adversary evaded his pursuit, and procured him 
a second confinement in the Bastille. He was permitted 
to leave it only on condition of being banished the capital, 
and afterwards the kingdom. He took refuge in England. 
The literature of this country, and the society of its men 
of genius, strengthened that spirit of bold and inde- 
pendant philosophy, which influenced the remainder of 
his life, his conduct, his opinions, and his writings. He 
opened in London a subscription for the republication of 
his Henriade ; it was the basis of his fortune, which was 
afterwards so much increased by successful speculations 
in the public funds, and by shares in the contracts for 
provisions. We cannot but wonder at the extraordinary 
activity, sagacity, and prudence, which he always dis- 
played in pecuniary affairs. If he had not been the first 
writer of his age, he might have become one of its ablest 

On his return to France he successively gave to the 
public, in less than four years, Brutus, the Death of Caesar, 
Eryphile, Zara, and Adelaide du Guesclin, which latter 
tragedy not having succeeded, met with a better fate 
under the title of the Due de Foix ; and having since 
appeared under its former name, and in its original state, 
has taken its rank among the best and most applauded 
pieces of its illustrious author. At the same time, the 
elegy on the death of Madame le Couvreur, and the 
Temple du Gout, excited against Voltaire the most violent 
acrimony. It is difficult at this day to comprehend 
the reasons for such terrible consequences of causes 
apparently so innocent. It is much easier to understand 
the prosecution commenced against him on the appear- 


ance of his Philosophical Letters. The book was burnt, 
and the author compelled to fly. Scarcely had he begun 
to breathe when the unavowed publication of his Epistle 
to Urania, and his imprudent recitation of some frag- 
ments of the Pucelle d' Orleans, again exposed him to 
danger. He then determined no longer to reside at 
Paris, and retired to Cirey, the country seat of the 
famous Marchioness du Chatelet, a woman so celebrated 
for her extraordinary acquirements in abstruse science. 
Voltaire joined in these studies, but without renouncing 
literature. He wrote the Elements of the Philosophy of 
Newton, and an Essay on the Nature and Properties of 
Fire. He composed Alzira, Zulima, Mahomet, the Pro- 
digal Son, Essay on Man, the History of Charles XII. 
collected materials for his Age of Louis XIV. and the 
Essay on the Manners and Spirit of Nations. It was then 
that Desfontaines, whose life he had formerly saved, 
directed against him that abominable libel, the Voltairo- 
mania, which he was afterwards compelled to disavow. 
But Voltaire had sufficient motives for consolation : while 
a miserable pamphleteer was harassing him with libels, 
the heir apparent of a kingdom was soliciting his friend- 
ship. This was the Prince Royal of Prussia, so celebrated 
under the name of Frederic II. When he had succeeded 
to the throne, Voltaire visited him at Wesel, refused the 
many tempting offers held out to him, and returned to 
Circy. He produced his tragedy of Merope, which met 
with unusual success. But he nevertheless failed twice 
in his endeavours to become a member of the French 
academy. The ministry conceiving that the alliance of 
Prussia might be advantageous to France, Voltaire was 
charged with the negociation, but secretly — his enemies 
considered his absence as a second exile, and began to 
triumph. He returned however from his mission, bring- 
ing with him, not a treaty of alliance, but much useful 


m formation respecting the views and disposition of Prus- 
sia and Holland. Soon after Madame de Pampadour 
having desired him to prepare a piece on the occasion of 
the dauphin's marriage, he composed the Princess of 
Navarre. This, which was one of his most feeble pro- 
ductions, procured him the situation of Gentleman of the 
King's Chamber, the place of Historiographer of France, 
and, at length, a seat in the academy. But his success 
at court was not of long duration. Madame de Pompa- 
dour, actuated by her own caprice, and the clamours of 
his enemies, lavished on Crebillon marks of distinction 
and favor which Voltaire considered as so many insults 
to himself. He again retired to Circy, from whence he 
went to the court of Luneville, with Madame du Chatelet, 
where that ingenious woman expired. At Luneville he 
wrote his Nanine, and caused it to be performed. He 
returned once more to Paris, but the same persecution 
and malice awaited him. As an appropriate revenge on 
Crebillon, he wrote the Semiramis, Orestes, and Rome 
Preserved, all of them subjects which his rival had treated 
before. They were composed at Sceaux, under the 
patronage of the Duchess du Maine ; the first had some 
success, the two latter were but coldly received. 

It was at this period that Voltaire judged it proper to 
accede to the pressing invitations which the King of 
Prussia had repeatedly sent him, since the death of 
Madame du Chatelet. The particulars of his residence at 
Berlin and Potsdam are well known — as well as his sin- 
gular favor with the king — their free and philosophical 
conversations, their open and instructive communica- 
tions, their coldness, their disputes, their reconciliation, 
and the numerous intrigues which embittered their 
intimacy, and finally produced a separation. The king 
caused the satire of Akakea, which Voltaire had written 


to resent the malignity and manoeuvres of Maupertius, to 
be burnt by the common hangman. Voltaire resigned 
the key of Chamberlain, and the cross of the Order of 
Merit, in the hands of the king, who compelled him to 
resume them. For a moment they appeared to be recon- 
ciled, but the charm was broken, and the illusion dissi- 
pated. It was with the greatest difficulty that Voltaire 
obtained permission to take the waters of Plombieres, 
which were necessary for his health : and he set out with 
the firm resolution of never returning. During his resi- 
dence in Prussia he had written the Age of Louis XIV. 
a part of the Essay on the Manners, fyc. and he had 
revisited the Pucelle. On his arrival at Frankfort, he was 
arrested upon the most frivolous pretext, and ignomi- 
niously treated by the agents of Frederic, who, ashamed 
of his conduct, disavowed their proceedings, but neglected 
to punish them. Voltaire escaped to Colmar. He 
remained during two years in Alsace, and published his 
Annals of the Empire, the materials for which he had 
discovered in the abbey of Senones, of which Calmet was 
the abbot. He was desirous of returning to Paris, but, 
having previously ascertained, that his visit would be 
obnoxious to the court, he proceeded to the baths of Aix, 
in Savoy. From thence he went to Geneva, to consult 
the celebrated physician, Tronchin, who assured him of 
his entire recovery if he would remain in his neighbour- 
hood. This tempting promise, the beauty of the country, 
the freedom enjoyed by its inhabitants, and the necessity 
of repose after so many fatigues, determined him to fix. 
his residence first at Tourney, then at Les Delices, and 
finally at Ferney. 

The life of Voltaire now assumed a calmer aspect. 
From this time, entirely devoted to philosophy and 
literature, he composed, in his retreat, the most numer- 


ous, if not the most brilliant, part of his writings. He 
completed his Essay on the Manners, fyc. of Nations, the 
Orphan of China, Tancred, Olympia, the Triumvirate, 
the Scythes, the Guebres, the Laws of Minos, Don Pedro, 
the Pelopides, Irene, &c, &c. It was here he wrote 
most of his romances and tales, and that profusion of 
little detached pieces in prose and verse, which circulated 
so rapidly through every part of Europe. It was here 
that he also defended the lives or the memory of the Galas, 
the Chevalier de la Barre, Sirven, Martin, Montbailly, 
Lally, and Morangies. Voltaire, whose heart was so little 
known, consecrated his time, his genius, and his fortune, 
to succour the oppressed, to relieve the unfortunate, and 
in the general exercise of benevolence. Ferney, which 
was before only a miserable village, he converted into a 
neat and well-built town, inhabited by a flourishing colony 
of clock-makers. By his efforts, the country of Gex 
was exempt from the tyranny of the farmers-general. 
He endeavoured to release the people of Mont- Jura from 
their fetters. He educated under his own eye, and suit- 
ably married a female descendant of the great Corneille. 
Ferney became the capital of literature, and the asylum 
of philosophy. The zealous partisans of Voltaire, the 
enthusiastic admirers of his opinions and his writings, 
resorted thither as so many pilgrims to a shrine. No 
stranger of distinction ever omitted visiting him. The 
old man received men of literature and genius with 
affability, the great with distinction, ladies with his usual 
grace, and all with politeness. Those young authors in 
whose success he interested himself, he retained with 
him for several months, and they studied or composed 
under his kind and vigilant eye. To these continual 
visits, extorted by his fame and his writings, was added 
an almost universal correspondence. The King of 
Prussia, with whom he was, to appearance at least, 


reconciled — the Empress of Russia, and other sovereigns 
— the learned and the literati of almost every country — 
many of the high nobility, and the most celebrated 
females of France, entertained with him a settled com- 
merce of letters, in which he was always most distin- 
guished for punctuality, politeness, and wit. His innu- 
merable letters so remarkable for their sprightliness, 
humour, and grace, which would have occupied every 
moment of any other person, and which alone would 
have been sufficient for his glory, appear to have tres- 
passed little on the time of this extraordinary man. 

For many years Voltaire had been desirous of revisiting 
his native spot. He had recently bestowed Madame de 
Varicourt in marriage to M. de Villette, and he accom- 
panied them to Paris. His residence in that city was a 
perpetual series of triumph and congratulation. In the 
streets, the enthusiastic crowds surrounded his carriage, 
repeating his name and passages from his works : Irene 
was represented before him, and his bust was crowned 
on the theatre, amidst the tears, the applauses, and the 
acclamations of thousands. So many triumphs appeared 
to re-animate his zeal, and redouble his activity — it 
seemed as if he felt it necessary to justify such an 
extraordinary reception by other productions. He pro- 
posed to the academy the plan of a new dictionary; 
selected for his own share the first letter of the alphabet, 
and devoted himself night and day to study. This 
excessive labour, and the acuteness of his feelings exalted 
to the highest pitch, overcame the little strength he had 
left. He was deprived of rest. To mitigate his sufferings, 
he swallowed opium to excess, and sunk into a lethargy 
from which he recovered only at long intervals, and for a 
few moments. He expired, at length, on the 30th of 
May, 1778, at the age of 84 years, 3 months, and 8 days. 

VOLTAIRE. [fiance. 

The priests who attended during his illness were not able 
to draw from him any abjuration of his principles, or 
the acknowledgment of J. C. They refused to inter him 
in holy ground. One of his nephews, the Abbe Mignot, 
Abbot of Sellieres, secretly conveyed the body of his 
uncle to his own church, and it remained there till it 
was removed in 17 92 to the Pantheon, where it is now 


England, that long happily escaped the scourge of 
heresy and theological disputes, gave birth to John 
Wickliffe, the celebrated precursor of John Hus, one of 
the reformers of the 16th century. He was born at 
Wickliffe, in Yorkshire, about the year 1324. Having 
completed his studies at Oxford, he embraced the eccle- 
siastical profession, and distinguished himself by his 
talents, and the austerity of his manners. In 1361 he 
procured the mastership of Baliol college; and was after- 
wards made warden of Canterbury hall, then founded by 
archbishop Isless, whose successor, Langham, displaced 
him at the instigation of the monks, the sworn foes to 
Wickliffe, for exposing their corrupt errors, and abomin- 
able practices. 

The motives that rendered Wickliffe inimical to the 
court of Rome, were nearly the same which provoked the 
indignation of Luther. In 1374 he was sent with some 
others, on an ambassy to Rome, to complain of the 
number of benefices enjoyed by foreigners. This mission 
confirmed Wickliffe in his sentiments of the papal 
tyranny. After his return, he preached with greater 
violence against the corruption of the Romish church. 
Although Wickliffe in a degree revived the doctrines of 
Berenger and Vaudois, he may still be regarded as the 
first who ventured publicly, and methodically, to combat 
principles that had long been established throughout 
Europe. He maintained that the Bible was the only 
rule of faith, opposed the practice of confession and 
indulgences, attacked the supremacy of the pope, and 


the privileges of the church, rejected the real presence^ 
established fatality and predestination, and required, to 
restore religion to its premature purity, that worship 
should be deprived of all its ceremonies, and the clergy 
of all their estates. Circumstances favored these opinions, 
and in spite of the severity of the laws, he had in a little 
time numerous partizans. England was weary of seeing 
herself treated as a Roman province. The great schism 
in the west, at that time, divided the church, and the 
spectacle of two, nay, three popes, disputing the authority, 
and reciprocally excommunicating each other, but too 
forcibly justified the declamations of Wickliffe. Pope 
Gregory XI. informed of his conduct issued several bulls 
against him, charging him with numerous heresies. But 
whatever were the errors of Wickliffe, he was certainly 
right when, upon the occasion of the croisade published 
in England against France, he expressed himself with 
much indignation to " see the Cross of our Saviour, the 
emblem of peace, of mercy, and charity, serve as a 
standard and signal of war among christians, to promote 
the interests of two ambitious prelates." 

It was under the reign of Edward III. that Wickliffe 
began to spread his doctrine. He suffered great persecu- 
tion under Richard II. but he found a zealous protector 
in the Duke of Lancaster, father of Henry IV. Courtney, 
bishop of London, cited Wickliffe to appear before him 
at Paul's, to give him some account of the new opinions 
which he held. Wickliffe came attended by the Duke 
of Lancaster, and the Earl Marshal. The crowd was so 
great, that the Lord Marshal was obliged to make use of 
his authority to get Wickliffe through it. The bishop, 
displeased at seeing him so honorably attended, told the 
Lord Marshal, " that if he had known before hand what 
maestries he would have kept in the church, he would 


have stopped him out from coming there." The Duke of 
Lancaster, indignant at this threatening language, told 
the bishop, " that he would keep such maestries there, 
though he said nay." Wickliffe, as usual, was standing 
before the bishop and the rest of the commissioners, to 
hear what things were laid to his charge, when the Lord 
Marshal desired him to sit down, telling him, that as he 
had many things to answer to, he had need of a soft seat 
to be at his ease. The bishop replied, " that he should 
not sit there; for," added he, " it is neither according to 
law nor reason, that he who was cited to answer before 
his ordinary, (the head pope), should sit down during the 
time of his answer." On this many angry words took 
place between the bishop and the Earl Marshal. The 
Duke of Lancaster then interfered, and told the bishop, 
" that the Earl Marshal's motion, was a very reasonable 
one, and that as for him, (the bishop), he was now become 
so proud and arrogant, that he (the Duke) would bring 
down not only the pride of him, but of every prelate in 
England ;" adding, " that rather than take what the 
bishop said at his hand, he would pull him out of the 
church by the hair of his head." These speeches occa- 
sioned the assembly to become very tumultuous ; so the 
court broke up without doing any thing. Notwithstand- 
ing the hatred of the clergy, he died peaceably in his 
rectory of Lutterworth, in the year 1384. Thirteen years 
afterwards his bones were taken up, and burnt by a 
decree of the council of Constance. 

His partizans were called Lollards, from the name of 
one of their leaders. Under Henry IV. such was their 
influence, that the commons proposed to apply the tem- 
poral benefits of the church, to the exigencies of the state, 
which was resisted by the King. Wickliffe wrote a tract 
on the schism of the popes, and translated the bible into 


English. He was so voluminous a writer, that Labinio 
Lipus, bishop of Prague, burnt two hundred volumes, 
written by this extraordinary person, which belonged to 
some of the heretical noblemen of Bohemia. 

The learned and candid Melancthon speaks thus of 
Wickliffe, " He foolishly confounds the gospel and poli- 
tics, and does not see that the gospel permits us to make 
use of all the lawful forms of government of all nations. 
He contends that it is not lawful for priests to have 
property. He insists that tithes ought only to be paid to 
those who teach, as if the gospel forbade the use of 
political ordinances. He wrangles sophistically and 
seditiously about civil dominion." 

Faint:i WKMaiqs. 



John Winckelman was born at Stendal, in the 
ancient Marche of Brandenburgh, in 1718. His 
father was a shoemaker, and wholly incapable of cul- 
tivating the taste for literature which he developed at 
an early age. Left entirely to himself, Winckleman 
studied the best Latin and Greek authors ; but the dis- 
tress in which he was involved, compelled him to become 
a schoolmaster. It was then, he has asserted, " that he 
reflected upon passages in Homer, in shewing the alpha- 
bet to his scholars." — The Count de Bunau, the patron 
of literature, and who was himself an author, extricated 
him from his difficulties, and placed him near his person. 
The neighbourhood of Dresden furnished Winckelman 
with the means of contemplating the productions of art, 
and of making himself acquainted with learned men. 

Having become professor of the belles lettres, at 
Sechausen, a new career opened to him. The Pope's 
Nuncio proposed to him to undertake a journey into Italy, 
assuring him, that he might easily obtain the post of 
librarian to the Vatican. But this flattering expectation, 
demanded of Winckelman two important sacrifices ; he 
must necessarily quit the Count de Bunau, and change 
his religion. But the love of the arts prevailed. He 
became catholic in 1754 ; and excused himself with so 
much candour towards his protector, that he felt an 
interest in his welfare, and remained his friend. 

Before his departure for Rome, Winckelman pub- 
lished his Reflections on the Imitation of the Works of 

WINCKELMAN. [prussia. 

the Greeks, in Painting and Sculpture^ This tract 
excited considerable sensation among the connoisseurs. 
Having, during his journey, attentively studied the most 
remarkable objects of the arts, Winckelman arrived at 
Rome ; but the prelate, who had flattered him with so 
many promises, could not realize his hopes. Winckel- 
man could there only obtain a lodging ; his pride not 
permitting him to solicit more. He had then only his 
pension to subsist on, granted to him by the court of 
Dresden, and which amounted only to one hundred 
crowns. But this, on the breaking out of the war in 
Saxony, and which terminated in its subjection, he 
unfortunately lost. His presentation to Pope Benedict 
XIV. and his connexion with the famous Cardinal Pas- 
sionei', had procured him only a scanty and precarious 
subsistence. Thus circumstanced, he was compelled to 
renounce a portion of his independance, and attached 
himself to Cardinal Albani, in the quality of librarian. 
A little time afterwards, he was elected president of the 
antiquities, and found himself so comfortable in his situa- 
tion, that although many of the German princes, 
desirous of fixing him in their neighbourhood, would 
have made him the most advantageous proposals, he 
could not be prevailed on to abandon his favorite employ. 

The Description des Pierres Gravees du Cabinet de 
Stosch, extended the reputation of Winckelman, among 
the body of antiquaries. VHistoire de V Art chez les 
Anciens, was printed in 1764. This magnificent picture 
of the birth, progress, and decline of statuary, among the 
principal nations of antiquity, met with prodigious suc- 
cess, and was regarded from its first appearance as a clas- 
sical work. Such is the general opinion of its merits, that 
the important errors which have since been discovered, 
and even those which may yet be pointed out, do not 

Prussia.] WINCKELMAN. 

injure its celebrity. Winckelman, it must be acknow- 
ledged, is at times too systematic ; he is not sufficiently 
severe in the choice of pieces that he recommends to the 
notice of his readers ; but he exalts the chef d'ceuvres 
of antiquity, and exposes the immutable principles of 
the beau with uncommon energy and spirit. With what 
sagacity has he classed the works of sculpture, and indi- 
cated the epochs to which they may be attributed ! To 
this knowledge, of the arts, he joined the most profound 
erudition, and the talent so extremely rare, of conveying 
instruction without fatigue. Winckelman was not at all 
times exempt from prejudices. His friendship for his 
countryman, Mengs, the painter, and in whose favor 
he became a zealous partizan, was doubtless a merito- 
rious sentiment ; but it induced him often to exaggerate 
his praise, and attribute to that artist, whose reputation 
is by no means confirmed, qualities that he did not 
really possess. 

By the criticisms of various adversaries, whom his 
extreme irritability had rendered more daring in their 
attacks, and compelled to forego a voyage into Greece, 
which he had a long time projected, Winckelman 
formed the resolution of returning to Germany. But 
though in his native country he met with the most flat- 
tering reception, his regret in quitting Rome embittered 
his enjoyments. This idea took such hold upon his 
mind, that the Roman sculptor, Cavaceppi, his travelling 
companion, entreated him to return to Italy, which he 
consented. Having left Vienna, and arrived at Trieste, 
Winckelman formed, during his stay in that city, an 
acquaintance with an Italian adventurer, named Arcan- 
gelt, who gained his confidence, by expressing an 
insatiable love for the arts. This designing villain, in 
order to possess himself of some valuable medals which 



Winckelman had the imprudence to shew, stabbed him 
with a knife. He was apprehended and punished ; 
although Winckelman, who at the approach of death 
demonstrated sentiments of the greatest piety, had 
declared he would pardon him. Winckelman, after leav- 
ing a few legacies to his friends, appointed the Cardinal 
Albani his residuary legatee ; and died, after lingering 
a few hours, in excessive pain, on the 8th June, 1768, at 
the age of fifty-one. 

His History of the Arts, which he wrote in German, 
has been translated into several languages. Besides this 
production, and those we have already enumerated, he 
composed others, both in his native idiom, and in 
Italian. The most considerable are, his Letters on Her- 
culaneum, his Allegory for Artists, Remarks upon Ancient 
Architecture, 8$c, Mons. d'Hancarville, his intimate 
friend, and who, as well as himself, has devoted his 
time and his talents to the study of antiquity in the 
capital of the Arts, has composed, to his memory, a Latin 
inscription, in the lapidary style of the ancients. Winc- 
kelman was much celebrated as an antiquary, and 
considered as the first connoisseur of his time. His 
friendship was much courted by travellers, to whom he 
paid the most courteous attention while at Rome. 

lebrun p :A;ifr.'i!?u? Aprih.i^i- !y fimorJBoad h Sharp Toultry. 



Saint Stephen was one of the seventy-two disciples 
of Jesus Christ. At the prayer of the faithful, among 
whom all their possessions were in common, the apostles 
permitted seven persons, the most eminent for their 
fidelity and their virtue, to he intrusted with the distri- 
bution of alms. St. Stephen was the first selected to 
perfoim this honorable function. His zeal for the 
christian religion having raised the people of Jerusalem 
against him, he was cited before the Sanhedrim as guilty 
of attacking the law of Moses. He supported his 
opinions with much firmness before the magistrate ; and 
reproached the Jews with the recent death of Christ. 
His defence excited much tumult and indignation ; in 
the midst of which, he exclaimed, "I beheld the Hea- 
vens open and the Son of Man standing at the right 
hand of God." The fury of his enemies was now at its 
excessive height; they seized him immediately, and 
dragged him out of the city, resolving to inflict upon him 
the punishment allotted to blasphemers. During the 
time of his martyrdom he offered up prayers for his 
murderers, and, after the example of Jesus, implored the 
Almighty, not to impute to them the magnitude of so 
heinous a crime. 

In this picture, which is one of his best productions, 
Le Brun has very judiciously combined the principle cir- 
cumstances attending this event. In the numerous 
pictures of the martyrs, painters have frequently intro- 


introduced the Supreme Being and his Angels with 
much impropriety; but in this instance the episode 
attacks itself essentially to the subject, and to the words 
which Stephen so emphatically pronounced. 

Le Brun produced this picture in 1651, at the age of 
32. It was painted for the church Notre Dame, and 
considerably increased his reputation. This artist, who 
confined himself particularly to expression, and who left 
behind him some useful precepts on this impartial branch 
of his art, has perhaps produced nothing in its kind to 
be compared to the figure of St. Stephen. A pious 
resignation, and a celestial pleasure, are depictured in 
his face, suffused with blood, and already covered with 
the paleness of death. The group of his faithful followers, 
who witness his last moments, is happily conceived. 
Their dejection of mind, and the compassion with which 
they seem penetrated, form an admirable contrast to the 
rage and vengeance that animate his destroyers. 



After having subjugated the whole of Greece, 
Alexander employed the resources he was possessed of 
in the conquest of Persia. Followed solely by- 36,000 
men, he passed the Hellespont in the year 334, before 
J. C. — visited the ruins of Troy — arrived upon the bor- 
ders of the Granicus, which he crossed in sight of 
the Persians, whom he put to flight — overthrew all that 
he met in his career — gave battle to Darius, near Issus, 
and completely defeated him. He then besieged the 
city of Tyre, which surrendering to his arms, he. 
passed into Egypt, and founded Alexandria; and, 
traversing the plains of Lybia, returned to the attack of 
the Persians, and by the battle of Arbela destroyed the 
empire of Darius. From Persia, Alexander carried his 
conquests into India — vanquished Porus, and made all 
the Indian princes submit to his yoke — and only stopped 
his course at the mouth of the Indus, when he, in fact, 
could proceed no farther. He returned to Babylon to 
enjoy the fruit of his victories — where he tarnished his 
fame by the most degrading excesses, and where poison 
put an end to his surprising destiny. 

The ambassadors of Carthage, Gaul, Spain, Sicily, 
Sardinia, and other cities of Italy, awaited his return 
into Babylon, to congratulate the Conqueror of the 
World ; but the predictions of a soothsayer prevented 
him, for a time, going thither. Yielding, however, at 


last, to the remonstrances of the philosopher Anaxarchus, 
who dissipated the apprehensions which the magi had 
inspired, Alexander offered to the Babylonians the 
pageant of a triumphal entry into the city — upon which 
was lavished all the treasure of the world. 

Le Brun has, perhaps, not given to his subject all the 
brilliancy which it ought to possess. A march even 
more extended could have scarcely corresponded with 
the idea that may be conceived of this triumph. But 
the artist could not, doubtless, dispose of a greater space ; 
and what confirms us in that opinion, is the crowding of 
objects in many parts of this picture. 

The principal figure is well disposed : its attitude is 
noble, and its expression heroic. The costume and 
head-dress contribute to give him a majestic appearance. 

The two slaves, carrying a magnificent vase, and the 
horseman who addresses them, are accessaries, but too 
much in sight, and diminish the general effect. 

Great beauties are however, remarked in the group of 
Babylonians standing at the foot of the statue; and 
especially in many of the figures of the Macedonian 

Notwithstanding the merit of the picture, it must be 
confessed that it is inferior to many others in the collec- 
tion of the Battles of Alexander. It was the last 
finished, and Le Brun perhaps experienced that fatigue 
which so long and so laborious a task might have occa- 



Demosthenes, by his eloquence, roused the Grecian 
empire against Philip, and, upon all occasions, attacked, 
with considerable asperity, the ambition of Alexander ; 
but these princes triumphed, in the end, over the obsta- 
cles that he opposed to their designs, without causing 
him to experience any act of personal resentment. 
Matters assumed a different appearance when Antipater 
after the death of Alexander, divided the kingdom of 
Macedonia. Demosthenes, desirous that his country 
should regain its liberties, declaimed against the tyranny 
of the Macedonians: — but Athens had lost all its 
energy ; and the Athenians, summoned by Antipater to 
deliver Demosthenes into his power, were on the point 
of acceding to his threats, when Demosthenes, apprised 
of his commands, resolved to secure himself by flight, 
and preserve his countrymen from guilt. They did not, 
however, hesitate to condemn him to death, in obedience 
to the orders of his oppressor. 

This illustrious orator secreted himself in the island of 
Calauria, where he was pursued by Archias, one of Anti- 
pater's officers. Demosthenes, under the protection of 
Neptune, whose temple served him as an asylum, resis- 
ted the perfidious insinuations of Archias, who at first 
had recourse to stratagem to induce him to go and jus- 
tify himself before Antipater ; but finding that he could 
overcome his resistance only by force, ordered the Ma- 


cedonian troops to drag him from the altar which he 
embraced. " Hold," cried Demosthenes, " profane not 
this sacred asylum. I am disposed to follow you ; but 
let me first address a prayer to Neptune." Falling on 
his knees he covered himself with his mantle, and 
swallowed poison, which he carried about him in a 

When he began to experience its effect, he unfolded 
his mantle, and proceeded to follow the Macedonians ; 
but he had scarcely reached the door of the temple than 
his powers forsook him, and he said to Archias : — " Thou 
mayest convey this body to Antipater, but thou wilt 
never convey thither Demonthenes." 

The instant in which Demosthenes uncovers his face, 
is that which has been chosen by the artist for the sub- 
ject of his picture. His composition is judicious ; the 
expression of Demosthenes well delineated; and the 
group of warriors is remarkable for the propriety of their 



Extended carelessly on the pavement, and reclining" 
on the bosom of his mother, the infant Jesus enjoys the 
happiness of profound sleep. The child St. John extends 
his hand to caress him, and is on the point of waking 
him, when the virgin desires him, by a sign, not to 
disturb the repose of her son. 

This charming picture, one of the most graceful of 
Annibal Caracci, painted on wood, is about a foot in 
length. The drawing is correct, the expression true, and 
the objects treated with considerable judgment. 

There is extant an old engraving of this picture, with 
a drapery in the back ground, as represented in the 
annexed sketch. This drapery does not exist in the 
original composition, whose ground is of a single tint. 

This artist excelled in portraits, or overcharged cari- 
catures. He gave to his animals, and even to his vases, 
the figure of a man whom he wished to turn into ridicule. 
One of his scholars being more occupied with the elegance 
of his toilette than in the study of painting, Annibal 
represented him with an air perfectly coxcomical, and 
so forcibly did the portrait express the defect of the 
original, that the young man renounced, from that 
moment, his excessive attention to dress. 


Annibal lived in a philosophic style, disregarding* the 
luxury of polished society, frequently hurtful to artists, 
as engrossing too much of their time. This led him to 
blame the conduct of his brother Agostino, who passed 
the greater part of his life in his antichamber, and in the 
company of princes and cardinals, and who dressed him- 
self with so much magnificence, that he had more the 
appearance of a man of quality than a painter. Annibal 
perceiving him, one day, with a haughty gait, walking 
on the parade with some persons of the first distinction, 
he pretended to have something to communicate of the 
greatest importance, and drawing him on one side, he 
whispered to him in the ear, " Agostino, recollect you 
are a tailor's son." 

As a proof that Annibal was insensible to the pomp 
attendant on the great, and unwilling to pay homage to 
superior rank, the Cardinal Borghese having come one 
day to pay him a visit, he slid out of his house by a back 
door, leaving his disciples the task of receiving the 
prelate. Annibal having spoken disrespectfully of the 
works of Josepin, this painter was disposed to seek 
redress by the sword; when Annibal, taking up his 
pencil, and showing it to his rival, exclaimed, " By this 
weapon I defy you, and will prove myself the conqueror." 

When Annibal found his last hour approaching, he 
desired to be interred by the side of Raphael, in order 
that his remains might be united with those of a painter 
whom he so highly esteemed. He died in 1609. 

l..-n.1.<n-rublijhlhvT l -rn,v2Is?.l k .f.'ur,:- 



According to Heathen mythology, Alcmena on the 
same day gave birth to Hercules and Iphiclus. Amphi- 
tryon, desirous of knowing which of the twins was his 
son, placed near their cradle two enormous serpents. 
At their appearance, Iphiclus was greatly terrified, and 
fled; but Hercules seized the reptiles, and strangled 
them. This trait of force and intrepidity, at so tender an 
age, confirmed beyond all doubt the celestial origin of 
the young hero. 

In this manner the fact has been often represented by 
ancient artists. There still exists an antique painting, 
in which, contiguous to Hercules, are visible all the per- 
sonages who witnessed the event : that is to say, Am- 
phitryon, Alcmena, and Iphiclus, who seeks refuge in 
the arms of his nurse. 

Augustino Caracci, in this pleasing picture, has banished 
all accessaries. In doing this he perhaps follows a re- 
ceived tradition, that the Serpents were conveyed by 
Juno into the cradle of Hercules, at a time when no one 
could fly to his assistance, Be that as it may, the artist 
has given to the demi-god an energy of expression and 
vigour of form, that makes him immediately recognized : 
his ruddy and animated colouring, so far from being a 
defect, is better suited to the subject than more delicate 



From the boldness of design observable in this picture, 
many writers have attributed it to Annibal Caracci. We 
have preferred retaining the name of Augustino, to whom 
it is more generally ascribed. This artist has, moreover, 
proved, in works which opened a field to his genius, that 
he could at times rise to that degree of majesty, which 
has stamped such value on the productions of his brother 

This picture formed part of the collection of the late 
Duke d' Orleans, which was sent into this country, and 
distributed among the Lovers of the Arts. It is unknown 
by what means it was preserved in France, and through 
what hands it passed before it was placed in the Museum, 
It is painted upon wood, about eight inches high and 
five wide. 


mad lle. CHAUDET. 

The subject of this picture is perfectly simple. & 
*young girl is in the attitude of drinking ; her sister with 
/one hand, pushes away her head, with the other, endear 
vours to seize the vase. The pleasing scene was highly 
.applauded during its exhibition. The public appeared 
much gratified, that an artist, so estimable in private lifq, 
as Mad lle - Chaudet, should employ her pencil, on sub- 
jects at once tender and ingenious, that appeared parti- 
cularly compatible with the delicacy of her sex, 

■■SJjKr ^<- 




' a 



Assiduous attention to the study of anatomy totally 
deranged the mind of Cigoli, which unjust persecutions 
had previously disturbed. He passed three years in a 
state of insanity, yet never wholly forbore amusing him- 
self in his art. He had, at times, some lucid intervals, 
during which he produced several small compositions, 
worthy of the talent he displayed. Upon his conva- 
lescence, his genius developed itself with an animation 
that excited envy, but confounded all competition. 

As Cigoli finished his works 3 it required the utmost 
precaution to take them out of his hands, in order to pre- 
serve them ; for in his paroxysms of madness, when he 
discovered a picture, he took his brush, and without 
altering, in the least, the disposition of the whole, con- 
verted every figure into a skeleton. This mania pro- 
duced, one day, the most singular effect. A picture was 
given to him by one of his friends, representing Venus 
surrounded by the Loves ; Cigoli amused himself with 
dissecting the goddess, but as he had not time also to 
disfigure the Loves, Venus remained under her hideous 
form, in the midst of the laughing group- 
It was, probably, during the time he was in this un- 
happy condition, that, Cigoli painted his Flight into 
Egypt. The great charm of this little piece consists in 
the naivete, which reigns no less in the execution, than 


iH the idea. Gigoli did not possess, in an eminent- 
degree, a knowledge of serial perspective. This is per- - 
eeptible in the manner in which the back ground of the ; 
picture advances, although the distant objects are ; 
touched with considerable judgment; 



The Tarquins having been expelled from Rome, 
employed all their exertions to re-enter the city ; and the 
Romans, on their part, established the severest laws to 
prevent their return. The people and the senate, at the 
instigation of Brutus, condemned those to death who 
should presume to re-establish monarchy, and restore the 
Tarquin race ; but Brutus, the firm supporter of the 
rising republic, became soon sensible of the consequences 
of excessive rigour in the reformation of the state. 

Some Tuscan ambassadors, to serve the cause of the 
Tarquins attached to their king-, having excited their 
partizans to arms who remained in Rome, were enabled 
to gain over to their interests^ a number of young men, 
who, pleased with the vices and brilliancy of a court, 
could not bend to the austerity of republican laws. 

This conspiracy, skilfully planned, and in which per- 
sons of considerable influence enlisted, was on the eve of 
bursting forth, and overturning the new government, 
when a slave gave intelligence of it to the consuls. In 
the list of conspirators, Collatinus had the misfortune to 
see his nephew, and Brutus his two sons. The former 
endeavoured to preserve his relatives ; but by an action 
which has been differently considered in different ages 
and countries, Brutus resolved to put in force, in their 
full rigour, the laws which, it may be said, he had him- 


self dictated, and which he had sworn to maintain. 
Believing the death of his sons necessary to the liberty 
of Rome, he pronounced the sentence of their con- 
demnation, and as consul, presided himself at their 

M. David has delineated Brutus at the moment after 
the fatal execution, when, returning to his home, the 
rigour of the consul gives way to emotions of paternal 
regard : the idea is new and sublime. 

Alone, seated at the foot of the statue of Rome, Brutus 
holds in his hand the written evidence of the guilt of his 
sons. He endeavours to stifle the sorrow which nature 
raises in his bosom, and to fix all his thoughts upon his 
country's good. The bodies of his sons are at this mo- 
ment consigned to the family sepulchre, and the noise of 
the mournful ceremony disturbs his philosophic mind. 
At the sight of their bleeding remains, his wife rises 
from her seat, one of the daughters fixes her eyes upon 
the dreadful spectacle, and the other swoons away in her 
mother's arms. Behind this group, a servant covers her 
face with a veil. 

It was only in the power of a great painter to unite the 
expression of diverse sentiments, that agitated the mind 
of Brutus, with the resemblance of his features, as pre- 
served by ancient busts. His figure, insulated and placed 
in the shade, produces the grandest effect. The group 
of women offers beauties of another kind ; the design is 
pure and elegant ; the draperies are in a good style ; and 
the disposal of the three figures, presents a whole, which 
young artists would do well to study. The execution of 
the celebrated work corresponds with the grandeur and 
energy of the subject. 

AWu.'v..' Jiikji :.i'.i- V r7r-i.iT- JLu\1 ,'• .t'h.uii JXuTrr. 



Although the sacred writings makes no mention of 
the last moments of St. Peter, a pious tradition, adopted 
by the church, asserts that this Saint suffered martyrdom 
about the year 68, during the reign of Nero. He was 
condemned to be crucified; but judging himself unwor- 
thy of suffering the same death as Jesus Christ, he 
obtained permission of his persecutors to be crucified 
with his head downward. 

The picture of Guidois solely composed of four figures. 
One of the executioners raises the Saint on the Cross by 
means of a cord, fastened round the lower part of his 
legs. Another holds him by the waist, and a third is in 
the attitude of driving a nail through his feet. The 
back ground represents a mass of rocks. 

This picture was painted at a time when Guido was 
anxious to adopt the manner of Caravaggio. In this 
composition he approaches more to his style than in any 
other of his works. Josepen, jealous of the success of 
Caravaggio, having heard that this artist was likely to 
paint the crucifixion of St. Peter for the Church at Rome, 
called St. Paulaux troisfontaines, prevailed on the Duke 
of Eorghese to order that Guido should undertake the 
subject. He promised that the painter should adopt the 
style of Caravaggio ; and the genius of Guido revealed 
all that he had promised. 


The style of this picture is strong and sombre, and the 
colouring highly ingenious. The attitudes are energetic ; 
the design, after nature, correctly executed. The cos- 
tume of the figures is entirely fantastic ; hut that 6f the 
executioner at the top of the cross is infinitely too 
modern. Notwithstanding this defect, the picture has 
an imposing appearance : it was considered one of the 
best altar-pieces in Rome. 

This picture, after being placed, by order of Clement 
XIII. in the palace of Monte Cavallo, decorated the 
Museum of Paintings, established at the Vatican, by 
Pius VI. A fine copy of it, in Mosaic, may be seen in' 
the church of St. Peter. It is painted on wood, about 1 
nine feet and an half high, and seven wide. 



Hercules having penetrated the design of the Cen- 
taur Nessus, who made arrangements to carry offDejanira, 
wounded his rival with a poisoned arrow ; who being on 
the point of death, gave a tunic, tinged with his blood, 
to Dejanira, assuring her that it possessed the virtue of 
recalling Hercules, should he be disposed to attach him- 
self to any other mistress. But it contained a fatal 
poison ; and Hercules was no sooner invested with it, 
than he experienced the greatest agony, which he could 
only terminate by putting himself voluntarily to death. 
The hero, in consequence, expired upon a pile, which he 
had himself erected. Thus perished the son of Alcmena, 
and his death is the subject of the picture before us. 

It appears that the poets could not imagine a more 
honorable end to his glorious life. The conqueror of so 
many monsters was not destined to perish by the hand 
of a victor, nor to die the peaceable death of an ordinary- 
man. The last act of the life of Hercules was a trait of 
force and intrepidity. 

This picture, the work of Guido, exhibits all the taste- 
ful design, vigorous effect, and easy pencil, so conspicu- 
ous in the performances of that celebrated master. 

" Guido," says M. Fuseli, " delighted in the forms of 
Cesi ; he followed the muscular precision and marking 
of Passerotti. He attempted to imitate the energy and 


depth of Caravaggio. The beautiful Sybil of the palace 
Bonfigliuoli has the nocturnal shade of that style ; but 
the style on which he fixed arose from a reflection of 
Annibal Caracci on that of Caravaggio : that master 
observed, that a contrary method might perhaps more 
than counterbalance its effects, by substituting for the 
contracted and deciduous flash an open ample light, by 
opposing delicacy to the fierceness, decision to the obscu- 
rity of the line, and ideal forms to the vulgarity of his 
models. These words sunk deeper than Annibal expected, 
in the mind of Guido ; soon prompted him to try the 
effect : suavity became his aim. He sought it in design, 
in touch, in colour ; to give durability to his tints, he 
began to make great use of white lead, a colour dreaded 
by Ludovico Caracci ; pure demi tints and skilful 
reflexes mitigated the vigour of his shades, and gave 
roundness and delicacy, without enfeebling its effects." 




St. Rock having been long confined in a wretched 
prison, invoked the mercy of heaven to obtain his 
deliverance. Enjoying one day the consolation of sleep, 
a voice called to him and he awoke. He beheld an 
Angel, who announced that his prayers had been heard, 
and he was released from his fetters. 

This is the moment chosen by Guido. Beside St. 
Rock, is his dog, the faithful companion of all his mis- 
fortunes, and by which he is generally known. 

This picture is of the largest size. The design is bold 
and dignified ; the execution skilful, firm and easy. As 
an object of study, the figure of St. Rock is very fine. 
The attitude of the Angel is not so happy ; there is a 
stiffness in the gesture, adopted to convey the dispensa- 
tion of Providence. 

The effect of this picture is considerably injured by 
the sombre colouring. Guido might have availed him- 
self of the apparition of the Angel, to reflect more light 
in the obscure corner where the scene is placed. 

Du Fresnoy, in his account of the principal painters, 
observes, "that Guido chiefly imitated Ludovico Ca- 
racci, yet always retained somewhat of the manner 
which his master Denis Calvert, the Fleming, taught him. 
This Calvert lived at Bologna, and was competitor and 


rival to Ludovico Caracci. Guido made the same use of 
Albert Durer, as Virgil did of old Ennius, borrowed 
what pleased him, and made it afterwards his own ; that 
is, he accommodated what was good in Albert to his 
own manner, which he executed with so much graceful- 
ness and beauty, that he got more money and reputation 
in his time than any of his masters, and than all the 
scholars of the Carracci, though they were of greater 
capacity than himself. His heads yields no manner of 
precedence to those of Raphael." 

A circumstance, mentioned in the life of Guido, is 
well worth the attention of artists. He was asked from 
whence he borrowed his idea of beauty,- which is 
acknowledged superior to that of any other painter ; he 
said he would shew all the models he used, and ordered 
a common porter to sit before him, from whom he drew 
a beautiful countenance. This, adds Sir Joshua Rey- 
nolds, was undoubtedly an exaggeration of his conduct ; 
but his intention was to shew, that he thought it neces- 
sary for painters to have some model of nature before 
them, however they might deviate from it, and correct 
it from the idea of present beauty which they have 
formed in their minds. 

In painting it is far better to have a model, even to 
depart from, than to have nothing fixed and certain to 
determine the idea. When there is a model, there is 
something jto proceed on, something to be corrected ; to 
that, even supposing no part is adopted, the model ha§ 
s4H been not without use. 

Such habits of intercourse with nature will, at leasts 
create that variety which will prevent any one from 
prognosticating, on being informed of the subject, wha$ 


.manner of work the painter is likely to produce ; which 
i,s the most disagreeable character an artist can have. 
—Hence Du Fresnoy. 

-Non ita naturae astanti sis cuique revinctus 
Hanc praeter nihil ut genio studioque relinquas : 
Nee sine teste rei natura, artisque majestra, 
Quidlibet ingenio, raemor ut tantumodo rerum. 

De Arte Graphica, line 177. 

Nor yet to nature such strict homage pay 
As not to quit when genius leads the way ; 
Nor yet tho' genius all his succour sends, 
Her mimic powers, tho' ready memory tends, 
Presume from nature wholly to depart, 
for nature is the arbitress of Art. 

Guido was accustomed to paint upon silk, which arose 
from the following occurrence. The dominicans of 
Bolonga, removing an old coffin in order to deposit it in 
another place, opened it, and found the body entire ; but 
on offering to touch it, the corse crumbled into dust, as 
well as the linen that covered it— a silken garment solely 
was preserved. Guido, who witnessed this event, inferred 
from thence that silk was less subject to corruption than 
linen, and resolved in future to paint his pictures on a 
species of taffety, which he prepared for that purpose. 
He is, perhaps, the only painter who would have thought 
of such an expedient. 

Guido was so little addicted to gallantry, that he 
would never remain alone with the women who served 
him as models. He delighted in occupying spacious 
apartments, but would only furnish them with things 
that were absolutely necessary. " People,' ' he said, 
" come to my house to see pictures, not tapestry and 
splendid mirrors." 


It was a matter of much difficulty to get a picture 
from his hand ; this was only accomplished by indulging 
him in his favorite pursuit; or in other words, by 
gambling with him, by which he unfortunately fell into 
circumstances of great distress. 



Marcus Sextus, escaped from the proscriptions of 
Sylla, discovers, on his way home, his daughter in tears, 
beside the body of his deceased wife. 

This picture is the first work of a young artist, and 
exhibits such traits of excellence, as to render the 
admirers of the art solicitous that such extraordinary 
talents may advance, with regular steps, towards perfec- 
tion. It attracted, during its exhibition, uncommon 
attention and applause. It was praised in all the public 
journals, and celebrated by poets in complimentary 
verses to the artist, whose extreme modesty cast consider- 
able lustre on his fame. 

This picture cannot be contemplated without emotions 
of terror and of pity. A wife expiring through affliction 
and want, at the moment when the presence and the 
attentions of her husband might possibly have preserved 
her life ; a young girl clasping the knees of her father, 
her mind divided between the grief of losing her mother, 
and the satisfaction she experiences on beholding her 
persecuted sire ; and a proscribed warrior, escaped from 
the oppression of a sanguinary tyrant, finding, on his 
return to his dwelling, only a spectacle of horror and 
despair, present a scene capable of interesting the most 
obdurate heart. 

Such is the subject of the picture, in treating which, 
Guerin has been particularly happy. In a style grand 


and simple, he has united great sensibility, expressions 
eminently correct ; and to purity of design and vigour 
of colouring, added a peculiar charm, and all the graces 
and naivete of the pencil. But it is impossible, by this 
feeble outline, to convey a just idea of the beauties of 
the original ; which it is universally acknowledged, says 
a French critic, are of the first order. 

For this picture, which does honor to the French 
school, M. Guerin was adjudged a prize of the first class ; 
and to prevent its falling into foreign hands, a memorial 
was presented, by a body of artists, to the President of 
the Academy, that government might make the pur- 
chase, which, by some fatality, was neglected. It is now 
the property of M, Decretot de Louviers, and has been 
engraved by Blot. 



Eudamidas, of the city of Corinth, being attacked by 
a fatal malady, and, at an advanced age, is on the point 
of terminating his career. The physician places one of 
his hands on the bosom of the dying man, consults the 
beatings of his heart, and fixing the other hand on his 
own breast, appears to be sensible, by comparison, that 
there is no longer any hope for the life of Eudamidas. 

Eudamidas avails himself of the little energy that 
remains to dictate his last requests. " I bequeath," said 
he, " my mother to Arctea, in order that she may nourish 
and support her in her old age. I bequeath my daughter 
to Charixerus, that he may give her away in marriage, 
with a considerable portion, which he is competent to 
do ; and if either the one or the other should happen to 
die, it is my desire that the legacy devolve to the sur- 
vivor." This trait, which is preserved in Lucan, is one 
of the finest that it is possible to cite. Eudamidas was 
well convinced of the hearts of his friends^ and this 
legacy, so honorable to his feelings, is the best eulogium 
of their virtue. 

At the feet of the bed of Eudamidas, and in an attitude 
the most correct and affecting, his wife and daughter 
express all the exterior marks of profound grief. Nothings 
in short, can equal the beauty of this pathetic scene, 
unless it be its rigid simplicity, which has excluded all 


useless accessaries. A lance and a buckler, suspended 
against the wall, solely announce that Eudamidas fol- 
lowed the profession of arms. 

A very fine plate has been made from this composition, 
by J. Pense: it is engraved with all the sentiment, 
energy, and noble simplicity, that characterise the 
original picture. 



The talent of Monsieur Hue, in sea-pieces, is 
well known. He succeeded the celebrated Vernet, in 
delineating the ports of France, by an order from 

The picture now before us cannot be placed in the 
rank of sea-pieces, and ought rather to be considered an 
historical episode ; no less happily imagined, than ably 

In the middle of night, during the calm which follows 
a storm, an unfortunate person, thrown by the waves on 
an insulated rock, with his wife and child, of which he 
has only saved the lifeless corse, appears to abandon 
himself to his fate. He is surrounded by a frightful 
abyss, which seems to interdict every hope of relief. 
The objects the most dear to his heart, having perished 
before his eyes, he awaits the moment, as a blessing 
from heaven, that will unite him with them in eternity. 

This picture, of which the figures are of the natural 
size, and of which the execution may well surprise those 
to whom M. Hue is known solely by his marine com- 
positions and landscapes, displays a character at once 
dignified and interesting. Composed of a single detached 
group, lost in an immense expanse of water, it produces 
an effect of the most terrific kind. There is no accessary 
to divert the spectator from the principal object. The 


figures, especially that of the woman, are designed 
with considerable taste, and the colouring is nervous and 
correct. The clouds are of a silvery appearance, which 
contributes greatly to the harmonious correspondence of 
the whole. 

This picture, during its exhibition, attracted general 
notice, and procured M. Hue distinguished applause. 



" Give me another horse ! bind up my wounds ! 
Have mercy, Jesus ! soft ; I did but dream, 
O coward conscience, how dost thou afflict me ! 
The lights burn blue '. Is it not dead midnight ? 
Cold, fearful drops hang on my trembling flesh." 

Act V. Scene 3. 

This exclamation of Richard furnished the painter 
with the subject of the present picture. 

In character and expression of countenance, Hogarth 
has been peculiarly happy ; but in resemblance he has 
failed. " The features," says Ireland, have no likeness 
to the features of Mr. Garrick, and the figure gives an 
idea of a larger and more muscular man." The accom- 
paniments are no less appropriate than judicious : the 
lamp shedding a religious light, the crucifix placed at his 
head, the crown, sword, and armour before him, exhibit 
the descriptive powers of this celebrated genius. 

The figures and tents in the back ground are likewise 
introduced with great propriety, and contribute to the 
interest of the scene. 

Hogarth in his Analysis of Beauty observes, " The 
robes of state are always made large and full, because 
they give a grandeur of appearance suitable to offices of 


the greatest distinction," a precept which the drapery is 
seen to illustrate. This composition is simple, and the 
figures accurately drawn. 

In painting Mr. Garrick in this character, Hogarth 
evinced considerable judgment. It was the first he 
appeared in, on the 19th of October, 1741, at Goodman's 
Fields, and his performance gave proof of those extra- 
ordinary talents which secured to him the celebrity he 
afterwards attained. 

The paper adjoining the helmet, on which the follow- 
ing distich is written : — 

Jockey of Norfolk be not so bold, 

For Dickon thy master is bought and sold, 

not being brought to Richard until after the time repre- 
sented in this scene, can only be reconciled by that licence 
which poets and painters exclusively possess. 



In this picture St, John is observed in profile, in an 
erect attitude, his body covered with the skin of a goat, 
over which is a garment. He raises his hands towards 
heaven, and is apparently in the act of pronouncing 
these words of the Evangelist, "Repent ye: for the 
kingdom of heaven is at hand." 

The different groups of this composition are arrayed 
with considerable art. Near to the Saint, and upon a 
divided ground, one of the multitude, his head supported 
by his hands, listens to him with peculiar attention ; 
behind this figure, a person advanced in life, and 
enveloped in a large cloak, appears absorbed in reflection 
on the words of the apostle. On the other side, and on 
the fore ground is a Jew seated, who explains the mean- 
ing of his discourse to those who are beside him. Three 
old men, of a grave and dignified aspect, appear con- 
vinced of the mission of the precursor of Jesus Christ. 
These figures form an admirable contrast to the two men 
who are upon an elevation, at some distance. By these 
personages, the painter, no doubt, was desirous of pour- 
traying the Scribes and Pharisees ; on their countenances 
the expression of excessive hatred and of indignation is 
strongly depictured. To unite the two great and prin- 
cipal masses, Maratti has placed in the back ground a 
group of women and children. The landscape is simple 
and well chosen — at the bottom of the picture, several 
travellers are beheld. 


The variety of attitudes and of expressions, the fine 
character of the several heads, and the care which the 
artist has bestowed in the execution, renders this picture 
highly estimable. It is correctly designed, and the 
draperies are adjusted in the taste of Raphael. In no 
composition has Carlo Maratti so happily imbibed the 
inspiration which the works of that great master are 
capable to excite. His colouring is tolerably good. 
Some of his shades are indeed too dark ; but this appears 
to have been rather produced by the influence of time, 
than by the fault of the artist. 

Carlo Maratti was born in 1625, at Camerano, in the 
March of Ancona. His family was originally of Illyria. 
The inclination he early discovered for painting, induced 
his parents to place him in the school of Andrea Sacchi, 
who considered him his best pupil. Among the great 
masters, whose works were the object of his studies, he 
gave the preference to Raphael : his admiration for this 
consummate artist, arrived to a pitch of enthusiasm. 
Having been employed to retouch the pictures of the 
history of Psyche,* he would only make use of crayons, 
in order, as he said, that some artist, who was worthy of 
uniting his pencil with that of Raphael, might efface his 
labour, and substitute his own. 

Carlo Maratti was frequently employed by the sove- 
reign pontiffsj in whose intimacy he lived. Clement 
XI. honored him with the order of Christ, and gave 
him a pension. This admirable artist lost his eye-sight 
a little time previous to his decease, which happened in 
1713; he was then 89. 

* These frescos are in the Farnese palace at Rome, and were executed 
fey Raphael and his pupils for Augustin Chigi, 



The Haven of Piraeus having been surprised by the 
enemy, Phocion, being the Archon or governor of Athens, 
was accused of having connived at its surrender, and 
condemned to death, in his eightieth year. Such is the 
subject of the present picture. 

In the centre of the picture, Phocion is observed seated 
with the most placid demeanour. His friends have 
already swallowed poison. The cup being emptied, and 
the executioner refusing to get it filled for Phocion, 
unless he would give him twelve drachms, he requested 
an Athenian, who was present, to furnish him the money, 
since, as he said, " in Athens men are not even permitted 
to die without paying for it." 

The picture is skilfully composed ; in design it is per- 
fectly correct, in colouring vigorous, and exhibits the 
talents of the artist Odevaere, pupil of M. David, in a 
very favorable point of view. 

London ;J^iblwh'^ f? ■ ■■■'-■ 



The subject of this picture is purely historical. St. 
Charles Borroraeo was named Cardinal and Archbishop 
of Milan, at the age of twenty-three. In that dignified 
situation he was the pattern of every virtue. Anxious to 
assist one of his flock in his last moments, he learnt that 
the plague had broken out in the neighbourhood of 
Milan, and threatened desolation to the city. He 
returned thither immediately, and administered to those 
committed to his care all the aid of humanity and the 
consolation of religion, devoting himself incessantly to 
prayer, and the relief of the sick ; soliciting the Almighty 
to spare the people, and to take him as the only victim. 
A little time after that epoch, he had the felicity to 
perceive the calamity cease. 

This historical event has often been the subject of 
painting, and presents to artists abundant materials for 
the display of their genius. The picture of Van Oost is 
deserving of particular esteem. This painter, who ac- 
quired much celebrity in his own country, which he 
ornamented by various productions of his pencil, holds 
a very distinguished rank among the masters of the 
Flemish school. 

The arrangement of the figures in this picture is at 
once dignified and simple. In the attitude, and in the 
expression of the sick, there is that mixture of physical 
suffering, and of piety, which the subject prescribes, 


but which it is difficult properly to express. Nothing 
can be more interesting than the figure of St. Borromeo, 
who with one hand endeavours to protect himself against 
the pestilential vapour, and with the other restrains a 
young infant from rushing into the bosom of its mother, 
who has just expired. The view of this group recalls 
to the recollection that very celebrated picture of the 
Grecian painter, Aristides, of which Pliny has furnished 
us with the description. This artist has represented a 
female mortally wounded, in an attack upon a city, who 
endeavours to withdraw the child from creeping to her 
bosom, under an apprehension that the infant will imbibe 
her blood with her milk. This incident gave rise to a 
very beautiful Greek epigram, which has been thus, 
elegantly translated:— 

Suck, little wretch, whilst yet thy mother lives,, 
Suck the last drop her fainting bosom gives : 
She dies ; her tenderness outlives her breath ;• 
And her fond love is provident in death. 

The vigorous colouring of this picture we shall attempt 
to describe. It possesses no extraordinary brilliancy,, 
which manifests the judgment of the author, and is 
befitting the austerity of history, and the tenderness of 
the subject. The stole of the revered archbishop is of a 
lively red ; but the tints of his capuchin, which are of 
violet, verging upon slate colour, and those of his white 
sleeves are softened by broad demi-tints. The habit of 
the sick person, who is on the point of receiving the 
viaticum, is brown, and a part of the apparel of the 
woman beside him is of the same colour. The woman 
has beside a green drapery. In the fore ground the 
colours are more full, without appearing over vivid. The 
artist has observed the same rule for the draperies, red 
and green, of the dead woman ; for the blue mantle of 


the man, of whom only the shoulders are seen, and the 
linen spread over the body of the infant, who has just 
fallen a victim to the contagion. 

Van Oost was born at Bruges, in 1600, and attached 
himself to the style of Annibal Caracci, whom he imitated 
in such a manner, as to surprise the most able con- 
noisseurs at Rome. 

He possessed many of the accomplishments of a great 
painter. His touch and his colouring were good. He 
introduced but few figures in his designs, to avoid in- 
cumbering his subject ; and he disposed them with a 
great deal of skill and elegance, giving them such 
draperies as were simple and natural. He designed in a 
good taste ; his style resembling that of Annibal ; yet it 
was less charged than the designs of that master usually 
are. In his carnations, his colouring was fresh and like 
nature : but he is not so commendable in the colour of 
his drapery, which is sometimes so broken, as to give the 
stuffs an appearance of hardness. He understood per- 
spective and architecture extremely well ; and as he was 
not fond of painting landscapes, (though occasionally he 
painted well,) he ornamented his back ground, most 
frequently, with buildings, columns, arches, and different 
pieces of architecture, which gave his composition a 
grand effect. 

The most admired picture of Van Oost, is in the 
church of the Jesuits, at Bruges ; the subject of it is, 
" a Descent from the Cross;" in which the design, the 
disposition, the expression, colour, and chiaro-scuro, are 
worthy of the highest praise. He died in 1671. 




The subject of this picture we have already described 
in our review of the merits of Rebecca and Eliezer, by 
Paul Veronese, to which the reader is referred. 

This picture, of which the figures are about one half of 
the natural size, is one of the most valuable of Poussin, 
and holds a distinguished place in the museum of Paris. 

It is almost impossible, in the limits of this publication, 
to give the particulars of the life of this artist, who was 
not only the most eminent of the French school of paint- 
ing, but even one of the most celebrated of the Italian : 
should Italy claim the honor of his talents, and which 
might be done with great propriety, since he resided 
there almost the whole of his life, and his ashes repose 
within her precincts. 

This eminent painter was born at Andel in Normandy, 
in 1594, and began his studies at Rome, in 1622, in the 
twenty-eight year of his age. He came, according to 
Bellori his biographer, as an artist already formed, and 
finding soon that he had more to unlearn than to follow 
of his former principles, renounced his national character, 
and not only with the utmost ardour adopted, but suffered 
himself to be wholly absorbed by the antique. Such was 
his attachment to the ancients, that he may be said to 
have often less imitated their spirit, than copied their 
relics and painted sculpture ; their costume, their mytho- 


logy, their rites, were his elements ; his scenery, and his 
back-grounds are pure classic ground. 

His invention was as happy as it was lively, and he 
designed with spirit and correctness ; though he was not 
always happy in the disposition of his figures, which too 
often were distributed in the same line, by the want of 
studying the chiaro-scuro. In perspective and architec- 
ture, he was perfectly accomplished. The colouring of 
Poussin did not, in any degree, correspond with his other 
powers of his art ; it is cold, feeble, and hard, and more 
similar to the marble of those antiques, which he raptur- 
ously admired, than to the connections of nature, or the 
fleshy tints of other eminent painters. 

Poussin was a man of great simplicity in his manner of 
living, and in his conversation. His whole mind was 
occupied with his art, and rendered him insensible to 
those gralifications>of luxury of which some refined minds 
are but too fond. He was an Athenian in his taste, yet 
a Spartan in his habits of life, and united the elegance 
of the one with the austerity of the other. 

This great master did not meet with that patronage 
and applause in his own country to which he was so 
eminently entitled ; so that he twice took refuge in 
Rome, where his talents met with minds congenial to the 
simplicity of his style. He died in 1665, at the age of 71 . 



It is observed by critics, that few histories are so 
confused as those which relate to Cyrus. The life of 
this Prince has been written by Herodotus and by 
Xenophon, with circumstances absolutely different. In 
the picture before us the artist has taken for his subject 
a passage in Herodotus. 

Astyages, the last king of the Medes, beheld, in a 
dream, a vine sprouting from his hand, the branches of 
which extended over the whole of Asia. The Magi, 
who explained to him his vision, assured the Monarch, 
that his grandson would deprive him of life, and seat 
himself upon the throne. Astyages ordered his daughter 
Mandane into his palace, and immediately upon her 
becoming the mother of Cyrus, commanded one of her 
courtiers, named Harpagus, to put the infant to death. 
This person, with much humanity, carried Cyrus to his 
own house. The horror which the barbarous mandate 
of his master inspired, and the absolute necessity for 
him to obey it, greatly agitate his mind. He refuses to 
listen to the entreaties of his wife to preserve the life of 
the child, although he cannot summon resolution to 
execute himself the fatal decree. Thus circumstanced, 
he sent for the cowherd belonging to the King, desired 
him to expose Cyrus upon an high mountain, and to in- 
form him of his death. The cowherd proceeds on his 
mission, accompanied by one of the slaves of Harpagus, 


who reveals to him the secret of the infant's birth. He 
informed his wife of the order he had received. This 
woman, who during the absence of her husband had 
been delivered of a dead child, prevails upon him to sub- 
stitute it in the place of the young Prince, and thus saves 
the life of a hero, who, in the end, raised the Persian 
empire to the highest pitch of glory and power. 

In this complicated subject, the artist has chosen the 
moment when Harpagus acquaints the cowherd with 
the command of the King. This man already holds the 
child, whose cradle is here by the slave. The wife of 
Harpagus, who has ineffectually exerted herself to pre- 
serve the innocent victim, departs with the greatest hor- 
ror, taking her son with her, who participates in her 

This picture is composed with much skill and simpli- 
city. The costume of the personages, and architecture 
of the building, lead the spectator back to the period 
and the place when the scene actually passed. Mr. 
Perrin, by this composition, obtained the artists' prize, 
and, during its exhibition, received from the public 
those eulogiums which it so justly merits. 



Alcibiades, the son of Clinias, the Athenian, and a 
descendant of Ajax, by the father's side, received from 
nature all the graces of body and mind. A philosopher — 
a voluptuary — a warrior — discreet at Sparta — gallant at 
Athens — profuse at the court of Tyssaphernes — studious 
in the school of Socrates, who was his tutor and friend — 
brave at the head of armies t — he had the talent of con- 
forming himself to all circumstances, and omitted no 
opportunity to distinguish himself in society. 

He carried away many prizes in the Olympic games* 
and benefited his country by numerous exploits ; but 
his services met with an unsuitable return. While com- 
manding the land forces, Antiochus, his lieutenant 
having lost a battle by sea, the misfortune was attributed 
to Alcibiades, and he was deprived of his commission. 

Compelled to accept an asylum, offered him by Phar- 
nabazus, he was betrayed by a Persian satrap, who had 
the cruelty to kill him with an arrow, in the 404 year 
B. C. This hero, who had rendered himself celebrated 
by many brilliant qualities, was then in his fiftieth year. 
Of this illustrious character, M. Turpin has drawn a 
very striking portrait, which we do not hesitate to adopt. 

" Nature, in forming Alcibiades, united all her powers 
to produce a perfect man. To features, noble and 


interesting, she joined a most graceful form, which sup- 
ported by great mental endowments, and affability of 
manners, enabled him to assume an absolute ascendancy 
over the hearts and understandings of his countrymen. 
Though born with passions of the strongest kind, he 
rendered them subservient to his ambition, and was alter- 
nately haughty and complaisant ; profuse and frugal • 
modest and licentious ; according to the exigencies of 
the moment. His beauty was not impaired by the ravages 
of time ; and, by an exclusive privilege, he continued to 
please in the autumn of life, as well as in the spring. 
But his extraordinary endowments were often applied to 
the corruption of public morals. He lent to debauchery 
the graces of voluptuousness ; and vice, in a manner, 
ennobled by his example, became stripped of its 

This picture has been highly applauded by connois- 
seurs for the agreement of its parts, the delicacy of 
pencil observable in the composition, and the harmony 
of its tints. 



There exists a great number of religious pictures 
that delineate no particular event in sacred history. 
When the rules of propriety are strictly observed, as in 
the picture before us, such performances may truly be 
regarded as poetical compositions. 

When Raphael painted this work, he had formed his 
taste by the productions of Perugino, Fra. Bartholomeo, 
and Garofalo. Under these masters he acquired a man- 
ner at once simple and dignified, to which he added all 
that grace for which he was distinguished. In what 
then was he deficient ? In that grandeur of style which 
the study of Michael Angelo opened to his view. But 
while he appropriated to himself all that the style of his 
rival offered as majestic and sublime, he had the talent 
to combine with firmness, that pleasing simplicity, which 
distinguishes his first productions, and to avoid that 
excess for which, at times, the chief of the Florentine 
school may perhaps be censured. 

Authors by no means accord as to the names of the 
Saints, which Raphael has placed by the side of the 
throne of the Virgin. From a received opinion we are 
led to believe they are Fathers of the Church, but the 
different attributes, and the costume of the personages, 
appear to suppress that idea. 


Raphael has painted nothing more graceful than the 
group of the Virgin and the Infant Jesus. The angels, 
raising a drapery, appear to float in the air ; the two 
others, holding a scroll, combine the idea of celestial 
essence, with the ndiveU of infantine being. 

This capital picture was formerly in the gallery at 
Florence ; it is painted on pasteboard, highly varnished, 
and is now in the museum at Paris. 

London Publwh'd by. ^ern<rrJIood <£ jTuzrpd J'ou/try 2S07 . 



ToBiT, a pious man, of the tribe of Naphtali, be- 
coming accidentally blind, sent his son to Rages, in 
order to recover some money he had lent to Gabelus. 
The angel Gabriel, under a human form, accompanied 
the youth during his journey, and caused him to marry 
his cousin Sarah, the widow of seven husbands, whom 
the devil had destroyed. Tobit afterwards returned to 
his father's house, whose sight he restored by the scale 
of a fish, that had been indicated to him by the angel. 
At the moment when the two Israelites were desirous 
of loading him with presents, in testimony of their gra- 
titude, he resumed his natural figure, and disappeared. 

This is the moment, chosen by Rembrandt, for the 
subject of his picture. It presents the most striking 
beauties, and the greatest defects. The expression of the 
personages is correct; their attitudes skilfully denote 
surprise and admiration; the chiaro-scuro is perfectly 
displayed ; and the colouring possesses all that vigour 
and truth, which placed Rembrandt in the rank of the 
first painters. The drawing of the figures is, however, 
extremely incorrect. In regard to the drapery, one can 
scarcely imagine any thing more capricious ; and it is 
almost superfluous to observe in this part of his art, to 
what degree the painter has erred against all rule and 


The genuine works of this master are rarely to be 
met with ; and, whenever they are to be purchased, they 
produce incredible prices. Many of them, however, 
are preserved in the rich collections of the English 
nobility. The etchings of Rembrandt are likewise 
exceedingly admired, and collected with great care and 
expence, for the cabinets of the curious, in most parts 
of Europe ; and it is remarked, that none of his prints 
are dated earlier than 1628, nor later than 1659, though 
there are several of his paintings, dated in 1660, particu- 
larly the portrait of the Franciscan Friar. 




Immediately after the birth of Achilles, the son of 
Thetis and Peleus, his mother plunged him in the river 
Styx, to render him invulnerable, and committed him to 
the Centaur Chiron, so famed for his knowledge and skill 
in physic, in music, and in the art of war. This demi- 
god, the son of Saturn and Phillyra, being established at 
the court of Peleus, attached himself particularly to the 
education of Achilles, feeding him with the marrow of 
lions, bears, and tigers, and formed him for single 

Chiron, who had likewise for his disciples Esculapius, 
Castor and Pollux, Hercules and Jason, may be regarded 
as one of the most ancient personages of Greece, having 
preceded the conquest of the Golden Fleece and the 
Trojan war. The ancients gave him the name of Centaur, 
attributing his particular form to the inhabitants of the 
marshes of Nephele and Thessaly, "who were first ac- 
quainted with the art of breaking horses ; and Chiron 
has, without doubt, been only represented under this 
monstrous shape because he was one of the first who 
excelled in that art. 

This charming picture, (better known by the title of 
the Education of Achilles,) in which elegance and purity 
of design, freshness and vigour of colouring, and delicacy 
of pencil, are united, was exhibited in the year 1783> at 


the Saloon of the Louvre; and met with numerous 
admirers. The young* Achilles, conducted by Chiron 
into an arid desert, the asylum of wild beasts, demands 
peculiar attention. He has already overcome a lion, and 
having just discovered another prey, attentive to the 
voice and motions of his instructor, strives to put himself 
in an attitude of darting upon the animal an unerring 
javelin. At the feet of the Centaur, and of the son of 
Peleus, a lyre is perceptible — the amusement of their 
leisure hours. 

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In the picture before us, one of the finest productions 
of the pencil of Rubens, the miraculous effects of the 
intercession of St. Roch, in favor of those who were 
afflicted with the plague, are admirably delineated. The 
Saint, clothed in the habit of a pilgrim, prostrates him- 
self before Jesus Christ, who skews him these words 
written upon a tablet held by an Angel, Eris in peste 
patrofius. St. Roch places his hand upon his bosom, and 
testifies his gratitude to God for the blessing afforded 
him. In an inferior part of the picture, a group of 
persons, ready to expire, manifest the most lively hopes 
of escaping from death, on perceiving their protector. 
An aged woman, clothed in a long white drapery, con- 
templates with admiration the celestial group. Another 
woman feels herself revived ; while several men, who are 
equally overwhelmed with this dreadful calamity, express, 
in the midst of their sufferings, the confidence which 
governs their minds. 

The execution of this chef d'ceuvre is worthy of the 
genius of Rubens. This immortal artist has, perhaps, pro- 
duced nothing finer than the diseased group : their heads, 
their attitudes, are perfect models of sentiment and energy, 
But admirable as these figures are, taken individually, 
that of the young woman, which immediately strikes the 
eye, fixes, in a particular manner, our attention. It is 
impossible to pourtray, with greater truth, the affecting 
and sublime idea of great physical suffering, contrasted 


with emotions of the warmest sympathy, or to express 
with more precision the fervour of hope, surrounded by 
the horrors of death. To this head, that of Mary de 
Medici, at the moment of the birth of Louis XIII. is 
solely to be compared ; and Rubens was perhaps the only 
artist capable of executing the one or the other. This 
picture is designed with that energy, and executed 
with all that fire of pencil, which characterize the 
works of Rubens. The colouring is perfectly correct, and 
admirably varied. In the midst, however, of beauties 
of the first order, it is perceptible that the figures of 
our Saviour and the Angel are somewhat too heavy. 
In other respects they, like the rest, are full of life and 

The draperies are, in general, of a vivid tint, but har- 
moniously united. The cloak of Christ is red ; the tunic 
of the Angel of a bright yellow ; St. Roch is habited in 
brown and violet ; the robe of the young woman is a 
pale red ; the dress of the man who supports her in his 
arms is of dark blue, verging upon green. The other 
afflicted persons are enveloped in white linen, or in 
woollen covering, whose tones accord with their livid 
and discoloured carnations ; but of which the demi-tints 
and the shadows have considerable force and vigour. 
The back ground represents a species of hospital. The 
figures are of the natural size. 

Although in our various strictures on the works of 
Rubens that have enriched this publication, we have 
endeavoured to give the student an idea of the peculiar 
beauties and defects of this great artist ; we are induced 
to insert the following critigue on his merits and imper- 
fections, from the pen of that distinguished ornament of 
his art, the late Sir Joshua Reynolds. 


Rubens appears to have had that confidence in himself, 
which it is necessary for every artist to assume when he 
has finished his studies, and may venture, in some mea- 
sure, to throw aside the fetters of authority ; to consider 
the rules as subject to his controul, and not himself 
subject to the rules ; to risk and to dare extraordinary 
attempts without a guide, abandoning himself to his own 
sensations, and depending upon them. To this con- 
fidence must be imputed, that originality of manner by 
which he may be truly said to have extended the limits of 
his art. After Rubens had made up his manner, he 
never looked out of himself for assistance ; there is con- 
sequently very little in his works that appears to be taken 
from other masters. If he has borrowed any thing, he 
has had the address to change and adopt it so well to the 
rest of his work, that the theft is not discoverable. 

" Beside the excellency of Rubens in these general 
powers, he possessed the true art of imitating. He saw 
the object of nature with a painter's eye ; he saw at once 
the predominant feature by which every object is known 
and distinguished, and as soon as seen, it was executed 
with a facility astonishing ; and let me add, this faculty 
is, to a painter, a source of rich pleasure. How far this 
excellence may be perceived, or felt by those who are not 
painters, I know not : to them certainly it is not enough 
that objects be truly represented ; they must likewise be 
represented with grace, which means here, that the work is 
done with facility and without effort. Rubens was, per- 
haps, the greatest master in the mechanical part of the art, 
the best workman with his tools, that ever exercised a 

" This part of the art, though it does not hold a rank 
with the powers of invention, of giving character and 


expression, has yet in it what may be called genius. It 
is certainly something that may be learned by frequent 
examination of those pictures which possess this excel- 
lence. It is felt by very few painters ; and it is as rare 
at this time amoDg the living painters, as any of the 
higher excellencies of the art. 

" This power, Which Rubens possessed in the highest 
degree, enabled him to represent whatever he undertook 
better than any other painter. His animals, particularly 
lions and horses, are so admirable, that it may be said 
they were never properly represented but by him. His 
portraits rank with the best works of the painters who 
have made that branch of the art the sole business of 
their lives, and of those he has left a great variety of 
specimens. The same may be said of his landscapes i 
and though Claude Lorrain finished more minutely, as 
becomes a professor in any particular branch, yet there is 
such an airiness and facility in the landscapes of Rubens^ 
that a painter would as soon wish to be the author of 
them as those of Claude, or any other artist whatever. 

" The pictures of Rubens have this effect on the 
spectator, that he feels himself in no wise disposed to 
peck out and dwell on his deserts. The criticisms which 
are made on him, are indeed often unreasonable. His 
style ought no more to be blamed for not having the 
sublimity of Michael Angelo, than Ovid should be 
censured because he is not like Virgih 

" It must, however, be acknowledged that he wanted 
many excellencies which would have perfectly united 
with his style. Among those we may reckon beauty in 
his female characters : sometimes, indeed, they make 
approaches to it : they are healthy and comely women, 


but seldom possess any degree of elegance. The same 
may be said of his young men and children : his old men 
have that sort of dignity which a bushy beard will 
confer : but he never possessed a poetical conception of 
character. In his representations of the highest cha- 
racters in the christian and the fabulous world, instead 
of something above humanity, which might fill the idea 
which is conceived of such beings, the spectator finds 
little more than mere mortals, such as he meets with 
every day. 

" The incorrectness of Rubens, in regard to his out- 
line, oftener proceeds from haste and carelessness, than 
from inability ; there are in his great works, to which 
he seems to have paid more attention, naked figures, as 
eminent for their drawing as for their colouring. He 
appears to have entertained a great abhorrence of the 
meagre dry manner of his predecessors, the old German 
and Flemish painters, to avoid which he kept his outline 
large and flowing ; this carried to an extreme, produced 
that heaviness which is so frequently found in his 

" Another defect of this great painter is, his inatten- 
tion to the foldings of his drapery, especially that of his 
women ; it is scarcely ever cast with any choice or skill. 
Carlo Maratti and Rubens are, in this respect, in op- 
posite extremes; one discovers too much art in the 
disposition of drapery, and the other too little. Rubens' 
drapery, besides, is not properly historical ; the quality 
of the stuff of which it is composed, is too accurately 
distinguished, resembling the manner of Paul Veronese. 
Their drapery is less offensive in Rubens, than it would 
be in many other painters, as it partly contributes to 
that richness which is the peculiar character of his style, 


which we do not pretend to set forth as of the most 
simple and sublime kind." 

" Notwithstanding all his defects," says Du Fresnoy, 
" his manner is so solid, so knowing, and so ready, that 
it may seem this rare accomplished genius was sent from 
heaven to instruct mankind in the art of painting." 

Julia Samano pinx~: 





This agreeable subject has been treated by a great 
number of artists with peculiar effect. It offers a 
thousand opportunities for a painter to display the 
resources of his art, either by the nature of the composi- 
tion, the gracefulness of the costumes, the opposition of 
the characters, or the freshness or vigour of the carna- 
tions. The dusky colouring of Vulcan, his austere look, 
and his ferocious air, contrast with the elegant forms, 
the tender smile of Venus, and the naivete of the 
beautiful children by whom she is accompanied. One 
of them presents a basket of flowers to the goddess; 
another shews her a butterfly ; a third appears to repose 
himself on his bow ; while the most prominent of this 
infantine group, approaching his mother, puts into his 
quiver the arrows she has taken from the recepticle 
brought to her by Vulcan, 

This valuable picture, executed with all the care which 
Julio Romano was able to employ on a work so little 
extensive, owes its principal merit to the simplicity of 
the composition, the dignity of the characters, and the 
purity of design ; qualities which secure to this artist the 
first rank among the disciples of Raphael ; but he is not 
remarkable either for delicacy of pencil, or truth of 
colouring. It is well known that Julio Romano has 
often ill-assorted the glowing tints, that his shades are 
dark, and that his touch is not always happy. It is only 
in his grand compositions, and particularly in his per- 


sons, that we can justly appreciate the talent of this 
distinguished artist. 

Vulcan, the son of Juno, was born with a disgusting 
figure. His mother, ashamed of having given him 
being, precipitated him (says Homer) to the bottom of 
the ocean, that he might remain eternally concealed in 
the abyss. Thetis and Eurynome had compassion on 
him, and preserved his existence. He remained for 
some years in a profound cave, occupied in making 
bracelets for their arms, and ornaments for their hair. 
At last he was summoned to heaven, and became the 
husband of Venus. He built himself, in Olympus, a 
temple of brass, decorated with brilliant stars. It was 
there that this god, whose size was prodigious, covered 
with filth and perspiration, by ashes and smoke, blowing 
incessantly the bellows of his forge, carried into effect 
those ingenious ideas with which he was inspired. 

These pictures are altogether allegorical. Vulcan, 
who perhaps was really lame, is the original author of 
works in iron, tin, silver, and gold. He discovered and 
taught the art of rendering these substances fusible for 
general use. This prince, it is said, having been dis- 
graced, returned to the island of Lemnos, where he 
erected his forge. This particular explains the fable of 
Vulcan being cast from heaven upon earth. Poets have 
placed the usual dwelling of this god in Vulcania, one of 
the Eolian Islands, surrounded with rocks, whose sum- 
mits vomit clouds of fire and smoke. It is to this clay 
called volcano, a name that is applicable to all mountains 
by which fire is emitted. 

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Roger, Count of Sicily and Calabria, taking the divert 
sion of hunting, separated himself by accident from his 
suite, and wandered near the cell of St. Bruno, in which 
he and his companions were performing their religious 
duties. Influenced by the fervour they displayed, he was 
desirous of learning their condition, and in what manner 
they employed their time. The answers he received, 
exciting in his mind sentiments of respect for these ]>ious 
and solitary zealots, he presented them with two churches, 
to which he attached a revenue for their subsistence. 
After this, Count Roger was accustomed to visit St. 
Bruno, to solicit his advice, and unite with him in prayer. 

In treating this subject, Le Sueur has seized the 
moment when the Count, for the first time, beheld St. 
Bruno. He has just quitted his horse, and renders 
homage to the piety of the Saint by falling on his knees 
before him. In the back ground some horsemen are 
perceived in the suite of the Prince, 

This composition, the dignified simplicity of which is 
much admired, is one of a series of twenty-two pictures, 
representing the principal events in the life of St. Bruno, 
that formerly adorned the cloister of the Chartreux at 
Paris. This work employed the artist three years, ancj 
furnished ample proof of the abilities of Le Sueur. 


" But the pictures of the Chartreux " observes Mr. 
Fuseli, " lately consigned to the profane clutch of resto- 
ration in the attic of the Luxembourg, are now little 
more than the faint traces of what they were when 
issuing from the hand of their master. They have 
suffered martyrdom more than once. It is well that the 
nature of the subject permitted little more than fresco in 
the colouring at first, and that the great merit of their 
execution consisted in the breadth of vehicle which 
monastic drapery demands, else we should have lost even 
the fragments that remain. The old man in the fore- 
ground ; the head of St. Bruno, and some of the disputants 
in the background of the Prediction ; the Bishops and 
the condemned defunct in the Inner al; the apparition 
of St. Bruno himself in the Camp ; the female figure in 
the Eleemosynary Scene ; and what has suffered least of 
all, the Death of St. Bruno, contain the least disputable 
marks of the master's primitive touch. 

The subject of the whole, abstractedly considered, is 
the personification of sanctity, and has been represented 
in the series with a purity which seems to place the 
artist's heart on a level with that of his hero. The sim» 
plicity, which tells the tale of resignation and innocence, 
despises all contrast of more varied composition, though 
not always with equal success, St. Bruno, on his bed, 
visited by angels ; building or viewing the plan for build- 
ing his rocky retreat ; the hunting scene ; and the apo- 
theosis, might probably have admitted happier combina- 
tions. As, in the different retouchings, the faces have 
suffered much, the expression must be estimated by those 
that escaped; for what still remains, we may conclude 
that it was not inferior to the composition." 

This excellent painter was a pupil of Simon Vouet. 


He soon surpassed his master, and though he had quitted 
France, became, in some points of the art, one of the 
first painters of his time. His reputation rose to so high 
a degree, that he was called the French Raphael. He 
studied those antiques to which he had access in his own 
country, with all possible assiduity, and seemed to be 
always ambitious of imitating the style of Raphael, as 
well as other distinguished masters of the Roman school, 
but aiming to be delicate, his proportions are sometimes 
too slender, and his figures frequently appear to have too 
great a length. 

The invention of Le Sueur was easy and fertile; his 
compositions grand and judicious; his draperies shew 
simplicity and grandeur, united in conformity to the 
taste of Raphael, and in manner of his fields, he endea- 
voured to observe the order of the antique. His cotem- 
porary, Le Brun, appears to have been very jealous of 
his superior talents ; for, on hearing of his death, he 
malignantly said, " I feel now as if I had a thorn just 
taken out of my foot.'* 

Le Sueur died young, and left behind him many 
works ; such as " The Cloister of the Chartreux at Paris," 
" Alexander and his Physician," &c. that might rival 
the works of the greatest painters for eloquence of design, 
beauty of form, and truth of expression. In colouring 
he was defective, and knew but little of the Chiar-Oscuro, 
or of those colours which are called local. 

Le Sueur had undoubtedly very extraordinary merit, 
but that merit is blended with great imperfections. His 
taste of design is justly to be admired, but his naked 
figures are usually faulty in disposition. The distribu- 
tion of his lights and shadows is not judicious ; but the 


attitudes are always noble, simple, and natural. His 
expression is great, and well adapted to his subject ; and 
though it must be allowed, he erred in many points, he 
excelled in the superior and most difficult parts of his, 

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Saint Bruno and his companions, having resolved 
to seclude themselves from the world, are seen distributing 
their effects among the indigent. 

There exists a Fresco of Dominichino, representiug a 
similar subject: St. Cecilia dividing among the poor, 
her money, furniture, and costly attire. In the composi- 
tion of Dominichino, there is more variety, and a greater 
number of Episodes ; but in the picture of Le Sueur, 
there reigns more uniformity. The attention of the 
spectator is less divided ; and although the figures of the 
indigent, have almost all the same object, still by the 
difference of age, sex, and attitudes, Le Sueur has suffi- 
ciently contrasted them with each other. 

This picture is the lightest in the collection. Its style 
is pure ; its design correct ; and is executed with the 
greatest facility. In the Museum at Versailles, there is 
a sketch from the first conception of the subject, which 
is highly prized for its energy and grace. 

Le Sueur died young. He left behind him many 
works ; such as the Cloister of the Chartreux, at Paris ; 
Alexander, and his Physician, &c. that might rival the 
works of the greatest painters for elegance of design, 
beauty of form, and truth of expression. He was defec- 
tive in colouring, — in that meretricious and ambitious 


appendage of the art, which is exercised upon great 
subjects, and embraces extensive compositions, the appro- 
priated effects of which can be well produced only in 




In the year 1648, Le Sueur, at the age of 31, began, 
by the desire of the Queen, the mother of Louis the 
Fourteenth, to paint the history of St. Bruno, founder of 
the Order of the Chartreux, for the purpose of decorating 
the cloister of the Monastery at Paris. This he executed 
in 22 pictures, in the space of three years ; and although 
he has the modesty to call his pictures mere sketches, the 
series has been reckoned among the best collections of 
paintings. It passed in the year 1776 into the cabinet of 
the late King of France. 

After the death of Le Sueur, some persons, jealous of 
the fame of this great painter, having had the meanness 
to damage these chef d'ceuvres, much care was bestowed 
to restore them to their former state. They were 
originally painted upon wood, then placed upon canvas, 
and afterwards retouched; but this latter task was 
committed to unskilful hands. They have since, by an 
order of the Senate, been restored with the utmost 

The Chartreux compelled Le Sueur to begin the life 
of St. Bruno, with an anecdote, to which, for a long time 
the conversion of the Saint was attributed; but this 
story Pope Urban VIII. caused to be suppressed as 


w A Parisian Monk, named Raymond, united to the 
u talent of prediction, an exterior of the sincere piety* 
'" He died ; and upon being carried to the sepulchre, 
u rose suddenly from his coffin, to declare that he was 
" damned." 

Such is the subject of the present picture. The Saint, 
greatly terrified at the miraculous apparition of Raymond, 
and the words he had pronounced, returned to his 
dwelling. He threw himself at the feet of the crucifix, 
and absorbed in profound reflections, resolved from that 
moment, to withdraw himself from the world. In a 
corner of the picture, the body of Raymond is seen, 
thrown into the earth, without any religious ceremony. 

The extreme simplicity of the composition forms its 
principal merit; and is perfectly consonant with the 
subject. The general effect of the picture has much 
sweetness, and the handling is light and correct. 



The rivers have been personified by the people of 

antiquity. They were deemed the Sons of the Ocean 

and of Thetis— and their number has been extended to 

3000. It was customary among the Greeks to invoke 

them, by washing hands in their waters. This practice 

was proscribed by the Persians, who regarded it as 

repugnant to the divinity of rivers. To them sacrifices 

were offered, and for this ceremony they made choice of 

horses and bulls. The poets and artists represented the 

rivers under the figure of old men, as a symbol of their 

antiquity. By a thick beard, long hair flowing over the 

shoulders, and a crown of osier, they are to this day 

characterized. Seated on a bed of rushes, they lean 

against an urn, from whence the waters flow and take 

their rise. The figures of the rivers observable on 

medals, are placed on the right or left, as they direct 

their course towards the east or the west. They have 

been likewise represented with horns on their head, and 

even under the form of bulls. The first of these allegories 

is analogous to the arms of rivers — the second indicates 

the murmurs that issue at times from the waters. Every 

river, among the ancients, had its appropriate attribute, 

taken most frequently either from the plants or the 

animals of the country they refresh, or from the fish 

which are the more abundantly found in their bosom. 

The moderns have imitated this idea of the ancients. 

They have likewise borrowed of them the custom of 

giving the figure of old men to the rivers that fall into 


the sea, and of young women to the less considerable 
rivers, which empty themselves into other rivers. 

In this picture, which forms a part of the collection of 
the Hotel Lambert, Le Sueur, has confirmed this tradi- 
tion : but it does not appear that it was his intention to 
delineate any river in particular. These two figures of 
the natural size imitate the basso-relievo — they have 
much elegance and correctness, and present, without 
affectation, a very agreeable contrast. 




Olympias, sister of Alexander, King of Epirus, mar- 
ried Philip, King of Macedonia, and was the mother of 
Alexander the Great. After the death of her son, she 
formed the design to possess herself of a part of his 
dominions; and caused Philip Aridseus and his wife 
Eurydice to be put to death, with Nicanor, brother of 
Cassander, and a hundred of the principle people in 
Macedonia, who were attached to the party of that prince. 
A general insurrection soon after obliged Olympias to 
secrete herself in the fortress of Pydna, with Roxana, 
the wife of Alexander, her son, and Thessalonica, sister 
of the Macedonean hero. 

Besieged by Cassander, Olympias supported, with 
extraordinary bravery, the horrors of famine ; but having 
lost all hopes of assistance, she was compelled to sur- 
render. Cassander then induced the relatives of the 
officers, whom the queen had ordered to be destroyed, to 
accuse her before the assembly of the Macedoneans. 
She entreated permission to defend herself, which was 
refused ; and was privately condemned to lose her life, 
Cassander, who was apprehensive that the recollection of 
the exploits of Philip and Alexander would excite the 
Macedoneans to revoke the sentence, sent, with the 
utmost expedition, fifty soldiers to carry it into effect. 
But the noble and imposing aspect of Olympias dissuading 
them from their purpose, Cassander was compelled to 


have recourse to the relations of those who had been 
sacrificed to the ambition of that princess. These, with 
much eagerness, rushed forward to gratify at once their 
particular revenge, and the wishes of their employer. 

The author of this picture, Mons, Taillasson, (whose 
compositions have long been justly esteemed) has very 
happily conceive^ and treated his subject. All the per- 
sonages contribute to the principal action. With one 
hand the Queen exposes her bosom, with the other points 
to the statue of Alexander. This idea is truly happy, 
and adds much to the pathos of the scene. The young 
Thessalonica deprecates the mercy of the assassins : 
Roxana flies for shelter to the statue of her husband ; 
towards which, her son, though a child, elevates his 
little arms. The warrior, who is excited by Cassander 
to kill Olympias, displays by his attitude, considerable 
irresolution. Another soldier, struck with the majestic 
firmness of the queen, turns away his head, and drops 
his sword. But Olympias has still much to fear. The 
relatives of those whom she destroyed, enter sword in 
hand, and the fury depicted in their countenances, 
announce they are alike deaf to pity and respect. 

Such are the principle traits of this celebrated picture, 
in which the expressions are just and pathetic, and 
which, on its exhibition, received the most unqualified 





"Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into, 
the common-hall, :in4 gathered unto him the whole band 
of soldiers. And they stripped him, and put on him a 
scarlet robe. And when they had platted a crown of 
thorns, they put it qpon his head, and a reed in his 
right hand; and they bowed the knee before him, and 
mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews ! And 
they spat upon him, and took the reed and smote him 
on the head."— St. ]\Iatthew, chap. 27. 

The picture on which this subject has been represented 
by Titian, is one of the finest of this master, although it 
is not exempt from those defects for which he has been 
often reproached. The head of Christ has much dignity j 
and its agonizing and majestic expression is the more 
worthy of remark, as Titian, as well as the most skilful 
painters of the Venetian school, has often neglected the 
character of these personages. The taste of design in 
this figure is of the grand style, although it presents 
some inaccuracies. The feeling of hatred is tolerably 
well expressd on the countenances of some of the per- 
sonages; but this passion ought, perhaps, to display 
itself with greater energy. It has been regretted, that 
|;his great artist has not represented the inhuman irony 
which is indicated in the text. The Jews appear resolved 
to torment our Saviour ; but there is no one, not even, 
f,he person who is kneeling on the front of the picture^ 


that appears to address him in these words — " Hail, 
King of the Jews !" 

Considered with respect to colouring, the picture is 
deserving of the highest praise. In no picture has Titian 
painted his characters with more animation and correct- 
ness. The draperies and the accessaries are treated in 
the same superior manner. The ground is vigorous 
without being dark ; and, composed of the richest tints, 
corresponds with the imposing aspect of this capital 

Titian was accustomed to compare the manner in which 
the lights and shades should he disposed on a picture, to 
a bunch of grapes, or many bodies combined, presenting 
only a general mass, although they preserve their parti- 
cular forms. This precept has been adopted by artists ; 
and it is only in their conformity to this principle, that 
they have succeeded in the chiaro-scuro. This has been 
employed by Titian in this picture with the happiest 
effect. The principal light falls on the figure of Christ, 
and spreads with much harmony over the other figures. 
The drapery, of a bright red, has the advantage of being 
conformable to the text of scripture, and attracts the 
eye to the chief personage, of which it lengthens the 

' ' 



This subject is too generally known lo require an 
explanation. Vander-werf has, however, not given to 
his figures all the action which they should possess. 
The countenance of the wife of Potiphar is deficient in 
energy; and by concealing the head of Joseph, the 
painter has avoided the difficulty that existed in delineat- 
ing the expression of modesty and indignation, by which 
this personage should be characterised. 

Although the subject be not completed, this picture is 
admirable with respect to execution. The figures are 
drawn with a degree of correctness, and all the parts 
studied with that care, in which, in the eyes of amateurs, 
the chief merit of the works of Vander-werf consists. 

" The pictures of Vander-werf." says Sir Joshua Rey- 
nolds, " whether great or small, certainly afford but little 
pleasure. Of their want of effect it is worth a painter's 
while to enquire into the cause. One of the principal 
causes appears to me, his having entertained an opinion, 
that the light of a picture ought to be thrown solely on 
the figures, and little or none on the ground or sky. 
This gives great coldness to the effect, and is so contrary 
to nature, and the practice of those painters with whose 
works he was surrounded, that we cannot help wonder- 
ing how he fell into this mistake. 

" His naked figures appear to be of a much harder 


Substance than flesh, though his outline is far frdni 
cutting on the light, not united with the shade, which 
are the most Common causes of hardness ; but it appears 
to me, that in the present instance the hardness of 
manner proceeds from tlie softness hereon being loo 
general ; the light being every where equally lost in the 
ground or its shadow, for this is not expressing the true 
effect of flesh, the light of which is sometimes losing 
itself in the ground, and sometimes distinctly seen, 
according to the rising and sinking of the muscles ; an 
attention to these variations is what gives the effect of 
suppleness, which is one of the characteristics of a good 
manner of colouring " 





The Virgin is seen seated in the lap of St. Anne, and 
bends forward to take the infant Jesus in her arms, who 
is playing with a lamb. 

It is somewhat singular that Leonardo should have 
placed a female of the age apparently of eighteen, upon 
the lap of her mother. This composition the artist has 
copied, and there is still existing a similar, picture at 

This picture formed a part of the old collection of 
paintings at the Louvre;— it is painted on wood, about 
five feet two inches high, and three feet ten inches broad. 

This master was descended from a noble family, and 
born at the castle of Vinci, near Florence, in 1445. 
From the excellence of his genius, his proficiency was so 
rapid that he surpassed his instructor, Andrea Verocchio, 
in such an eminent degree, that it provoked him to quit 
the profession entirely. His talents were of the most 
comprehensive kind, and the virtues of his mind were 
only excelled by his understanding. 

In the year 1494 he went to Milan, where he was 
most affectionately received by the Duke Ludovico Sforza, 
and the fondness which that prince afterwards expressed 
for Leonardo, on account of his accomplishments in 


music, poetry, and architecture, increased to a height 
that seemed scarcely credible. He was remarkably slow 
in finishing his pictures, but when he did finish them, 
they were exquisite. He spent four years on his cele- 
brated portrait of Mona Lisa, wife of Francesco di 

Leonardo possessed a very enlarged genius, a lively 
imagination, a beautiful invention, and a solid judgment. 
His design was extremely correct, his disposition judi- 
cious, and his expression natural. But his colouring is 
not agreeable, as the violet tint predominates to an 
extreme degree ; it is, however, not improbable, that 
when his colours were first laid on, they had a very 
different appearance. 

This extraordinary artist, in conjunction with Michael 
Angelo, was employed to paint the great hall of the 
Senate of Florence, and they made those Cartoons for 
their designs, which are still the admiration of mankind. 
From being competitors, they became rivals* Leonardo 
soon desisted from his work, and went to the court of 
Francis the first, king of France, in 1515, by whom he 
was treated with the greatest respect, and in whose arms 
he died, in the year 1519. 

Da Vinci had perhaps one of the greatest minds that 
the art of painting ever possessed. He was a mathema- 
tician, an engineer, a poet, and a philosopher ; and wrote 
on his art with as much spirit and talent as he exercised 

The following are the observations of M* Fuseli, on 
the powers of this great man ; 


"Leonardo da Vinci, made up of all the elements, 
without the preponderance of any one, gave universal 
hints, and wasted life insatiate in experiment ; now on 
the wing after beauty, then grovelling on the ground 
after deformity ; now looking full in the face of terror, 
then decking it with shards,* and shells, and marks, 
equally attracted by character and caricature, by style 
and common nature. He has drawn rudiments of all, 
but like a steam lost in ramification, vanished without a 

" Want of perseverance alone could make him abandon 
his Cartoon of the celebrated group of horsemen, destined 
for the great council-chamber at Florence, without paint- 
ing the picture. For to him, who could organize the 
limbs of that composition, Michael Angelo himself could 
be no object of fear. And that he was able to organize 
it, we may be certain, from the sketch that remains of it, 
however pitiful, in the i EtruriaPittrice\ lately published, 
but still more from the admirable print of Edelinck, after 
a drawing of Rubens, who was his great admirer, and 
has said much to impress us with the beauties of his last 
supper at Milan, which he abandoned likewise, without 
finishing the head of Christ, exhausted by a wild chase 
after models of the heads and hands of the apostles. 
Had he been alive to conceive the centre, the radii must 
have followed of course. "Whether he considered that 
magic of light and shade which he possessed in an un- 
paralleled degree in his smaller pictures, as an inferior 
principle in a work of such dignity, or as unable to 

* Shells of Beetles. This requires some explanation : Leonardo was 
employed to paint a head of Medusa. A beautiful woman sat to him for 
the same. The adjuncts of horror he sought for in the fields, bringing 
home for them occasionally in his walks, nettles, thorns, beetles, spiders, 
toads, adders, &c. 


diffuse it over numerous groups, cannot now be deter- 
mined; but he left his piece flat, and without that 
solemnity of twilight, which is more than an equivalent 
for those contracts of chiaro-scuro, that Giorgione is said 
to have learnt from him. The legend which makes 
Leonardo go to Rome with Juliano de Medici, at the 
election of Leo X. to accept employment in the Vatican, 
whether sufficiently authentic or not, furnishes a charac- 
teristic trait of the man. The pope passing through the 
room allotted for the pictures, and instead of designs and 
cartoons, finding nothing but an apparatus of distillery 
of oils and varnishes, exclaimed, "Ah me! he means to 
do nothing, for he thinks of the end before he has made 
a beginning." From a Sonnet of Leonardo, preserved 
by Lomazzo, he appears to have been sensible of the 
inconstancy of his countrymen, and full of wishes at 
least to correct it. 



The group of the Laocoon was discovered at Rome^ 
in the year 1508, in a recess of the ruins of the baths of 
Titus, where it most probably stood, in the time of Pliny, 
who has described it to be there in the reign of that 
emperor. This important discovery is due to Felice de 
Fredis, a Roman, to whom Pope Julius II. granted a 
very considerable pension, by way of recompence, and 
this inscription on his tomb perpetuates his claim to our 
obligation : — 

Felice de Fredis 
Qui ob proprias virtutes, 
Et repertum.Laocoontis diviuum quod 
In Vaticano cernes fer£ 
Respiraus simulacrum, 
Immortalitatem meruit. 
Anno Domini M D XXVIII. 

Pliny, who denominates this statue, " Opus omnibus, 
pictures, et statuarise artis praBferendum," Lib. xxxvi. 
cap. 5. has transmitted to us the names of the sculptors of 
Rhodes,Agesandre,Polydore,and Athenodore,who worked 
jointly upon this chef-d'oeuvre. From different Greek 
inscriptions, placed upon antique statues, it is presumed, 
that Agesandre was the lather of the other two artists. 

This statue, (which was made at Rhodes, of one stone, 
during the reign of Vespasian), is finished with the 
chisel, shewing an incredible command of execution ; 
" and I once heard," says Duppa, in his life of M. 
Angelo, " a very eminent sculptor, remark, he believed 


the statue had been previously finished with the rasp 
and file ; and that the marks of the chisel were made 
afterwards, to give the appearance of facility to the 
execution ; and at the same time a roughness to the 
surface, which was more favorable to the general effect 
of the figure, than if it had been left quite smooth." 

Many modern sculptors have endeavoured to restore 
the arm of the principal figure, but without success. 
Michael Angelo attempted it, but not feeling himself 
competent to the undertaking, left it unfinished. Bernini 
also undertook the task, but did not dare to work in 
marble. The restoration in plaster, as now visible in the 
Museum, at Paris, was done after a model by Girardon. 

Of this celebrated group, Baccio Bandinelli made a 
copy, in marble, of the same size, and flattered himself 
he had surpassed the original ; but he was alone in that 
opinion. Titian caricatured it, by drawing three monkies 
in the same action ; and when Michael Angelo was asked 
what he thought of it, he replied, " he who follows must 
be behind ; and he who himself does not know how to 
do well, cannot avail himself with any effect of the 
ability of others." 

" The Laocoon," says Winckelman, " offers to us the 
spectacle of nature, plunged into the deepest affliction, 
under the image of a man, who exerts, against its attack, 
all the powers of his soul. While his sufferings enlarge 
his muscles, and contract his nerves, you behold his 
mind strongly pictured on his wrinkled forehead ; his 
bosom oppressed by an impeded respiration, and the 
most distressing restraint, rise with vehemence to enclose 
and concentrate the agony by which it is agitated. The 
groans that he stifles, and the breath he confines, distend 


his very frame. Notwithstanding- which, he appears to 
be less affected by his own affliction than that of his 
children ; who raise their eyes towards him, and implore 
his assistance in vain. The paternal tenderness of the 
Laocobn is manifest in his piteous looks ; his coun- 
tenance expresses moans, not cries ; his eyes, directed 
towards Heaven, supplicate celestial aid. His mouth 
expresses the pangs and indignation occasioned by an 
unjust chastisement. This double sensation swells the 
nose, and discloses itself in his enlarged nostrils. Beneath 
his forehead is rendered, with the utmost fidelity, the 
struggle between grief and resistance; the one makes 
him elevate his eyebrows ; the other, the lids of his eyes. 
The artist being incapable of embellishing nature, has 
contented himself by giving her more extension, variety, 
and force. Where the greatest suffering exists, the 
greatest beauties are observable. The left-side, into 
which the serpent darts its venom by its bite, is the part 
that apparently suffers most, from its approximation to 
the heart ; and this part of the statue, may be reckoned 
a prodigy of art." 

The profound study of this chef-d'ceuvre, one of the 
most precious remains of antiquity; and which. Dr. 
Gillies observes, may be regarded as the triumph of 
Grecian sculpture, is sufficient to form a great artist. 
Michael Angelo always contemplated it with renewed 
admiration. Raphael was never weary of studying it ; 
and Annibal Caracci was so struck with the perfection 
he remarked in the group, that he one day made a 
drawing of it, from memory, with the greatest exactness. 

Our observations on this matchless performance might 
be extended to a considerable length, would the limits 
of this publication permit it. We shall, therefore, con- 


elude our remarks with the following extract from Virgil* 
descriptive of the subject : — 

" A greater omen, and of worse portent } 

Did our unweary minds with fear torment, f. 

Concurring to produce the dire event. V 

Laocoon, Neptune's priest by lot that year, 

With solemn pomp then sacrificed a steer ; 

When (dreadful to behold !) from sea we spy'd } 

Two serpents, rank'd abreast, the seas divide, L 

And smoothly sweep'd along the swelling tide. V 

Their flaming crests above the waves they show : 

Their bellies seem to burn the seas below : 

Their speckled tails advance to steer their course, 

And now the sounding shore the flying billjws force. 

And on the strand, and now the plain, they held. 

Their ardent eyes with bloody streaks were filled : 

Their nimble tongues they brandish'd as they came, 

And lick'd their hissing jaws, that sputter'd flame. 

We fled amaz'd ; their destin'd way they take, 

And to Laocoon and his children make : 

And first around the tender boys they wind, 

Then with their sharpen'd fangs their limbs and bodies grind. 

The wretched father, running to their aid 

With pious haste, but vain, they next invade : 

Twice round his waist their winding volumes roll'd ; 

And twice about his gasping throat they fold. 

The priest thus doubly choak'd— their crests divide, 

And tow'ring o'er his head in triumph ride. 

With both his hands he labours at the knots ; 

His holy fillets the blue venom blots: 

His roaring fills the flitting air around. 

Thus, when an ox receives a glancing wound, 

He breaks his bands, the fatal altar flies, 

And with loud bellowings breaks the yielding skie§. 

Their tasks perform'd, the serpents quit their prey,. 

And to the tow'r of Pallas make their way : 

Couch'd at her feet, they lie protected there, 

By her large buckler, and protended spear. 

Amazement seizes all : the gen'ral cry 

Proclaims Laocoon justly doom'd to die, 

Whose hand the will of Pallas had withstood. 

And dar'd to violate the sacred wood, jEneib, B. IL 



The Huntsman is seated upon the trunk of a tree, 
holding in one hand a javelin reversed. His horse is 
attached to his body by a girdle ; and his dog observed 
lying at his feet. Upon the base the name of the artist 
is written, and the date 1710. 

This statue is particularly selected from the works of 
N. Couston. The simplicity of its attitude, and the 
beauty of the head, have been greatly admired. Its 
height is about six feet. 

;■: ■.' iiffjij ji| 



Joan of Arc, surnamed the Maid of Orleans, was 
born in 1412, at Dom-remi, near Vancouleurs in Lor-* 
raine; her father was a common peasant, called James 
cT Arc. At the age of 17, while servant at an inn, she 
believed that the angel St. Michael, the protector of 
France, had ordered her to succour the city of Orleans, then 
closely pressed by the English, under the great Duke of 
Bedford, and predicted that, one day or other, she should 
procure the coronation of the king, Charles VII. at 
Rheims. This vision, while it elevated her mind, natur- 
ally strong and courageous, determined her to present 
herself to the king, who was then at Chinon. The valour 
and extraordinary enthusiasm that seemed to inspire this 
young girl, astonished the king, and surprised the whole 
court. He resolved to avail himself of this unexpected 
and almost supernatural aid, for the relief of Orleans, the 
last place capable of opposing the invasion oi the English. 

Joan of Arc communicated to the army the confidence 
and heroic valour with which she was animated. Clothed 
in the habit of a man, armed as a soldier, led by skilful 
officers, she undertook to relieve the place. She then 
approached the town, threw in provisions, and entered 
it in triumph. In the attack of one of the forts, she was 
wounded by an arrow ; but it did not prevent her advanc- 
ing. " It will cost me," she said, " a little blood, but 
these wretches shall not escape the vengeance of Heaven," 
and immediately mounted upon the enemies trenches, 
and with her own hand planted there the standard of 
France. The siege of Orleans was soon after raised. 


The first object of her mission being fulfilled, she was 
desirous of accomplishing the second. She marched to- 
wards Rheims, and caused the king to be crowned on the 
17th of July, 1429, assisting at the ceremony with the 
standard in her hand. Charles, sensible of the eminent 
services of this heroine, ennobled her family, gave it the 
name of du Lys, and added to it a considerable domain to 
support the distinction. But the good fortune of Joan of 
Arc soon forsook her. She was wounded at the attack 
on Paris, and taken in a sortie at the siege of Compeigne. 
This reverse immediately removed the astonishment and 
veneration with which her countrymen and her enemies 
even were penetrated. Excited to jealousy by the terror 
she had inspired, they sought a pretext to destroy her ; and 
following the superstitious ideas generally prevalent in the 
fifteenth century, and in direct violation of the rights of 
war, condemned her to death, in 1431 , as a sorceress, impos- 
tor, and idolater, desirous of the effusion of human blood. 
This extraordinary female appeared at the stake with the 
same intrepidity she displayed on the walls of Orleans,and 
was burnt at Rouen, on the 30th of May, in the same year. 

From a medal that was struck in honour of this heroine, 
after the coronation of the king atRheims, we learn that 
she took for her device a hand bearing a sword, with the 
words, Consiliofirmata Dei, Her exploits have given birth 
to two poems, one by Chapelain, the other by Voltaire. 

The model in plaister of the statue of Joan of Arc, by 
M. Gois the younger, met with considerable applause 
during its exhibition. The attitude is admirable, and 
the costume is well preserved : the plinth is ornamented 
with three basso relievos, representing the heroine armed 
by Charles VII. the coronation of the prince, and her 
memorable but unmerited death. 



The God of Day having terminated his course, re- 
poses himself in the entrance of a grotto, leading to the 
palace of Thetis. Six nymphs hasten to attend him. 
One of them unbinds the tresses of Apollo, two others 
perfume his hands, a fourth bathes his feet, while the 
remaining companions, holding each a vase, with much 
readiness, assist in the pleasing occupation. 

Four of the figures of this charming group, were exe- 
cuted by Girardon. To his chisel we are indebted for 
Apollo, the two nymphs kneeling on the fore-ground, 
and the one who, placed on the right-hand, is pouring 
perfume into the vase. These statues are remarkable for 
their graceful attitudes, elegance of design, and beauty 
of execution. The three others, the work of Regnauldin, 
are inferior ; but in no shape destroy the effect of this 
composition, replete with poetry and taste. 

Regnauldin was born at Moulins, in Bourbonnois, in 
the year 1627. He was the pupil of Francois Anguier, 
and made such rapid progress in his art, that Louis XIV. 
sent him to Italy, with a pension of 3000 livres. After a 
long residence in Rome, Regnauldin returned to France, 
where he embellished the royal palaces with a consider- 
able number of works. His most esteemed performances 
are the " Rape of Cybele," by Saturn, now in the gar- 


den of the Tuilleries ; the Autumn, and Faustinus placed 
in those of Versailles, &c. 

Regnauldin died at Paris, in 1706, at the age of 79. 
He was then keeper of the academy, into which he had 
heen admitted a little time after his return from Italy. 



Milo of Crotona, when in the prime of manhood, was 
accustomed to carry an enormous hull upon his shoulders, 
which he killed by a blow of the fist, and consumed, it 
is said, in a single day. All that the ancient writers 
report of the athletic powers of mortals, appear confirmed 
in what is related of this person. What excites our 
astonishment is, that this man, who devoted himself to 
such violent exercises, was not insensible to the peaceful 
charms of philosophy. He followed the lessons of 
Pythagoras, whose system in no manner accords with 
his voracious habits. 

Being one day in the hall where the philosopher in- 
structed his numerous disciples, the building gave way, 
and all his auditors would inevitably have perished, if 
Milo, who solely supported the principal column, had 
not given them time to effect their escape. 

Milo, being advanced in years, was desirous of split- 
ting the trunk of a large tree with his hands. This he 
had nearly achieved, when the two parts of the trunk 
knitting together, confined his fingers, and being unable 
to extricate them through excessive fatigue, he was 
surprised in this situation by some wild beasts, who put 
him to death, in the year 500, before J. C. 

Puget has been reproached for not following correctly 


this tradition, by leaving Milo the assistance of one of 
his hands. As it was impossible to represent him in the 
decripitude of age, the idea that is formed of his powers, 
is in contradiction with the fruitless resistance he oppo- 
ses to the lion. Besides which, the least motion that his 
agony might occasion, is sufficient to enable him to dis- 
engage his left hand, which is only retained by the first 
splinters. The group, however, is perfect, in point of 
execution. The head of Milo is expressive of rage and 
despair-— the lion appears of terrific vigour, and the 
drapery is adjusted with uncommon propriety. 

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